Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

a SIGHT BETTER

a SIGHT BETTER Vitamin E supplements can prevent premature babies from having defective sight One of the most vital of the premature infant's needs is for an adequate supply of oxygen. Before birth, its oxygen supply is from the maternal blood, via the placenta; after birth it has to be breathed in — and because it is premature, its lungs are not really up to the task. However, pure oxygen added to the air the infant breathes compensates for the respiratory deficit until the lungs become mature enough to cope wit h the problem. Then, in the first few days or weeks, the amount of extra oxygen being given can gradually be reduced and finally stopped altogether. In the 1940s severe eye defects, in many instances amounting to blindness, were being increasingly discovered in premature babies surviving at least six months. Changes in the vascular pattern of the retina could be seen as early as five weeks of age which , if allowed to continue, dramatically. But figures have shown confirmed by groups in Pennsylvania permanently damaged sight by the age that the cost in terms of increased and Canada wh o used an injectable of four or five months. It was realised infant mortality has been high; it has form of vitamin E to ensure rapid and by the late 1940s that this blinding been estimated that for every consistent blood levels of the vitamin.3, 4 disease was related to the use of premature infant retaining intact sight, While there is some debate as to oxygen in the management of some 16 premature infants have died.1 whether the incidence of retrolental premature infants and proof that fibroplasia is decreased there is oxygen was in fact the damaging factor agreement that its severity is markedly came later from experimental studies in Anti-oxidant reduced by vitamin E treatment with kittens. Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant correspondingly reduced irreversible and it has long been thought that it eye damage. The same observations Hypoxia might therefore protect sensitive were made by a group in Houston Lessening the amount of oxygen in growing retinal vessels from the using an oral form. 5 damaging effect of oxygen. With the the incubator atmosphere reduces the The routine administration of vitamin development of methods of micro­ risk of retinal damage but increases the E to premature infants, especially to risk of damage to lungs and brain analysis the actual levels of vitamin E those requiring oxygen, wil l not obviate because of relative oxygen lack — can now be readily measured even in the need for careful monitoring of the hypoxia. The aim of the neonatologist is small babies. We know that premature amount of oxygen in the incubator to steer a course betweeen giving infants may have lower blood levels of atmosphere but will have the effect of enough oxygen to ensure survival but vitamin E than mature infants and the increasing the safety margin. We may giving of vitamin E either by injection or not so much as to cause retinal then continue to see a decline in the damage. by mouth can correct the deficiency. As severity of this potentially blinding early as 1949, i n a controlled study at The effects of oxygen on the disease, while continuing to lessen the The John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, immature blood vessels of the retina is mortality associated with prematurity to induce proliferation and overgrowth it was shown that giving vitamin E by itself. of the minute capillaries, overgrowth mouth to infants at risk of retrolental fibroplasia drastically reduced the which is converted eventually to References incidence of the disease.2 The number something akin to scar tissue which 1 Cross, K.W., 1973, Lancet 2: 954-6. of infants in the study was small but the tends to spread outwards from the 2 Owens, W.C.: Owens, E.U., 1949, Am J results were so encouraging that the retina and fill the space behind the lens; Ophthal 32: 1961-7. this is wh y the disease is called paediatricians began to supplement all 3 Johnson, L., et al, 1974, Am J Clin Nutr 27: 1158-73. retrolental fibroplasia — 'behind the premature infants with oral vitamin E. 4 Finer, N.N., et al, 1982, Lancet i: 1087-91. Further studies showed that once the lens tissue growth'. There is no doubt 5 Hittner, H.M., et al, 1981, N Engl J Med disease process has set in , only early at all that since the relationship 305: 1365-71. administration of vitamin E may affect between oxygen and retrolental its course. fibroplasia has been known, the incidence of the disease in its mild, More recently (in 1974 and 1982) This article was prepared by the Vitamin moderate or severe forms has fallen those earlier observation were and Nutrition News Service Nutrition and Food Science http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nutrition & Food Science Emerald Publishing

a SIGHT BETTER

Nutrition & Food Science , Volume 83 (6): 1 – Jun 1, 1983

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/a-sight-better-vO0b7fGreX

References (1)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0034-6659
DOI
10.1108/eb058987
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Vitamin E supplements can prevent premature babies from having defective sight One of the most vital of the premature infant's needs is for an adequate supply of oxygen. Before birth, its oxygen supply is from the maternal blood, via the placenta; after birth it has to be breathed in — and because it is premature, its lungs are not really up to the task. However, pure oxygen added to the air the infant breathes compensates for the respiratory deficit until the lungs become mature enough to cope wit h the problem. Then, in the first few days or weeks, the amount of extra oxygen being given can gradually be reduced and finally stopped altogether. In the 1940s severe eye defects, in many instances amounting to blindness, were being increasingly discovered in premature babies surviving at least six months. Changes in the vascular pattern of the retina could be seen as early as five weeks of age which , if allowed to continue, dramatically. But figures have shown confirmed by groups in Pennsylvania permanently damaged sight by the age that the cost in terms of increased and Canada wh o used an injectable of four or five months. It was realised infant mortality has been high; it has form of vitamin E to ensure rapid and by the late 1940s that this blinding been estimated that for every consistent blood levels of the vitamin.3, 4 disease was related to the use of premature infant retaining intact sight, While there is some debate as to oxygen in the management of some 16 premature infants have died.1 whether the incidence of retrolental premature infants and proof that fibroplasia is decreased there is oxygen was in fact the damaging factor agreement that its severity is markedly came later from experimental studies in Anti-oxidant reduced by vitamin E treatment with kittens. Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant correspondingly reduced irreversible and it has long been thought that it eye damage. The same observations Hypoxia might therefore protect sensitive were made by a group in Houston Lessening the amount of oxygen in growing retinal vessels from the using an oral form. 5 damaging effect of oxygen. With the the incubator atmosphere reduces the The routine administration of vitamin development of methods of micro­ risk of retinal damage but increases the E to premature infants, especially to risk of damage to lungs and brain analysis the actual levels of vitamin E those requiring oxygen, wil l not obviate because of relative oxygen lack — can now be readily measured even in the need for careful monitoring of the hypoxia. The aim of the neonatologist is small babies. We know that premature amount of oxygen in the incubator to steer a course betweeen giving infants may have lower blood levels of atmosphere but will have the effect of enough oxygen to ensure survival but vitamin E than mature infants and the increasing the safety margin. We may giving of vitamin E either by injection or not so much as to cause retinal then continue to see a decline in the damage. by mouth can correct the deficiency. As severity of this potentially blinding early as 1949, i n a controlled study at The effects of oxygen on the disease, while continuing to lessen the The John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, immature blood vessels of the retina is mortality associated with prematurity to induce proliferation and overgrowth it was shown that giving vitamin E by itself. of the minute capillaries, overgrowth mouth to infants at risk of retrolental fibroplasia drastically reduced the which is converted eventually to References incidence of the disease.2 The number something akin to scar tissue which 1 Cross, K.W., 1973, Lancet 2: 954-6. of infants in the study was small but the tends to spread outwards from the 2 Owens, W.C.: Owens, E.U., 1949, Am J results were so encouraging that the retina and fill the space behind the lens; Ophthal 32: 1961-7. this is wh y the disease is called paediatricians began to supplement all 3 Johnson, L., et al, 1974, Am J Clin Nutr 27: 1158-73. retrolental fibroplasia — 'behind the premature infants with oral vitamin E. 4 Finer, N.N., et al, 1982, Lancet i: 1087-91. Further studies showed that once the lens tissue growth'. There is no doubt 5 Hittner, H.M., et al, 1981, N Engl J Med disease process has set in , only early at all that since the relationship 305: 1365-71. administration of vitamin E may affect between oxygen and retrolental its course. fibroplasia has been known, the incidence of the disease in its mild, More recently (in 1974 and 1982) This article was prepared by the Vitamin moderate or severe forms has fallen those earlier observation were and Nutrition News Service Nutrition and Food Science

Journal

Nutrition & Food ScienceEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 1, 1983

There are no references for this article.