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Nutrition research and practice

Vitamin A supplementation modifies the antioxidant system in rats.


PMID 26865913

Abstract

It has been shown that vitamin A supplementation has different effects on skeletal health and the antioxidant system. Deficiency or excess of this vitamin can lead to health problems. Vitamin A can work as either an antioxidant or prooxidant depending on its concentration. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of different doses of vitamin A supplementation on the antioxidant system in rats. Forty Spargue-Dawley male rats were divided into four groups according to the dose of vitamin A received: 0 (A0), 4,000 (A1), 8,000 (A2), and 20,000 (A3) IU retinyl palmitate/kg diet. After a feeding period of 4 wks, lipid peroxide levels, glutathione concentration, antioxidant enzyme activities, and vitamins A and E concentrations were measured. Histopathological changes were observed in rat liver tissue using an optical microscope and transmission electron microscope. Lipid peroxide levels in plasma were significantly decreased in the A1 and A2 groups compared to the A0 rats. Erythrocyte catalase and hepatic superoxide dismutase activities of the A2 group were significantly higher than those of the A0 group. Hepatic glutathione peroxidase activity was significantly lower in the A3 group compared to the other groups. Total glutathione concentrations were significantly higher in the A1 and A2 groups than in the A0 group. Histological examination of liver tissue showed that excessive supplementation of vitamin A might lead to lipid droplet accumulation and nuclear membrane deformation. These results indicate that appropriate supplementation of vitamin A might have a beneficial effect on the antioxidant system in rats.

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