IVACG: Vitamin A and Iron Interactions

Alnwick D, Arthur P, Dary O, Davidson F, Horwitz A, Reddy V, Smitasiri S, Sommer A, West K
June 30, 1998

Abstract: Established in 1975, the International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG) guides international activities for reducing vitamin A deficiency in the world. IVACG concentrates its efforts on stimulating and disseminating new knowledge, translating that new knowledge to enable its practical application, and providing authoritative policy statements and recommendations that others can use to develop appropriate prevention and control programs. Available evidence indicates that vitamin A deficiency is often associated with iron deficiency anemia and that vitamin A supplementation can have a beneficial effect on iron status. However, it is important to remember that iron deficiency is the primary cause of anemia and that vitamin A cannot overcome severe underlying iron deficiency. The interventions most likely to reduce anemia are those that improve the intake and bioavailability of iron and reduce common infections, particularly hookworm and malaria, where they are endemic.

Download the report here.