Vitamin E supplementation of breastfeeding women.

Effect of RRR-α-tocopherol supplementation on serum of breastfeeding women up to 60 days after delivery: a randomised controlled trial

Lira et al., JHND Early View. Unknown


Maternal supplementation is a viable strategy to combat vitamin E deficiency in newborns, although a protocol for maternal vitamin E supplementation has not been defined. The present study assessed the effect of maternal supplementation in a single dose on the serum of postpartum women up to 60 days after delivery.


Fifty healthy breastfeeding women were recruited at two maternity hospitals both located in Natal, RN, Brazil. The participants were randomly allocated to a control group and a treatment group in a 1 : 1 ratio. Serum was collected 1, 20, 30 and 60 days after delivery. Immediately after the first collection, the treatment group received a single dose of 400 IU of RRR-α-tocopherol. α-Tocopherol was quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The usual dietary vitamin E intake was determined using four 24-h recalls, and intake adequacy was assessed based on the estimated average requirements for lactating women (16 mg day−1).


The mean dietary vitamin E intakes of the both groups were similar (P > 0.05) and inadequate. The serum levels of α-tocopherol assessed at 1, 20, 30 and 60 days indicated adequate vitamin E status in both the control group (1194.6, 907.7, 910 and 748.6 μg dL−1, respectively) and treatment group (1183.7, 956.0, 935.9 and 766.4 μg dL−1, respectively). The comparison at each day showed no difference between treatments (P > 0.05).


A single vitamin E supplement did not change the mean serum level of α-tocopherol in breastfeeding women; thus, it does not improve their vitamin E status in the first 60 days after delivery.

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