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    Vitamin E is an important nutrient from the earliest stages of life. It plays key roles as an antioxidant and in the maintenance of the immune system, among others. Vitamin E deficiency (VED), which occurs more frequently in children, is rarely addressed in the literature. This narrative review aims to summarise the chemistry, biology, serum indicators and clinical trials that have evaluated the impact of fortification and other relevant aspects of vitamin E, in addition to the prevalence of its deficiency, in children worldwide. Vitamin E intake in recommended amounts is essential for this nutrient to perform its functions in the body. Serum α-tocopherol is the most widely used biochemical indicator to assess the prevalence of VED. VED has been associated with symptoms secondary to fat malabsorption and may lead to peripheral neuropathy and increased erythrocyte haemolysis. Reduced concentrations of α-tocopherol may be caused by the combination of diets with low amounts of vitamin E and inadequate consumption of fats, proteins and calories. The lowest prevalence of VED was found in Asia and the highest in North America and Brazil. High proportions of VED provide evidence that this nutritional deficiency is a public health problem in children and still little addressed in the international scientific literature. The planning, evaluation and implementation of health policies aimed at combatting VED in the paediatric population are extremely important.


    Lina Monteiro de Castro Lobo, Maria Claret Costa Monteiro Hadler. Vitamin E deficiency in childhood: a narrative review. Nutrition research reviews. 2023 Dec;36(2):392-405

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    PMID: 35929460

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