|Vitamin E Deficiency In Childhood|
Vitamin E deficiency is relatively common
in premature infants because the
doesn't transmit fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin E, very well and
because prematurity worsens the deficiency that results from poor transmission.
A formula high in polyunsaturated fatty acids increases the vitamin E
requirement, particularly for premature infants who absorb vitamin E poorly.
Vitamin E deficiency may also occur in children who have disorders that
interfere with fat absorption, such as cystic fibrosis
and certain . Administering excessive amounts of iron may also aggravate
vitamin E deficiency.
who are deficient in vitamin E may have muscle weakness together with
6 to 10 weeks of age, associated with reduced blood levels of vitamin
E. These problems can be corrected by giving vitamin E supplements. Vitamin
E deficiency plays a role in the development of , an eye problem that's aggravated by exposure to high
oxygen levels in incubators. Children with intestinal malabsorption may
develop severe vitamin E deficiency, which produces a variety of neurologic
symptoms, such as reduced reflexes, difficulty in walking, double vision,
loss of position sense, and muscle weakness. These symptoms worsen progressively
but may be reversed with treatment.
The diagnosis is established by measuring the blood level of vitamin E.
From The Merck Manual of Medical Information – Home Edition , edited by Mark H. Beers and Robert Berkow. Copyright 1997 by Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ:
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