Journal of Mental Deficiency Research 21(1): 63-74 (1977 Mar)

Vitamin A and carotene values of institutionalized mentally retarded subjects with and without Down's syndrome

Barden, H.S.
University of Illinois
Assessed vitamin A and carotene values of 44 3-34 yr old Down's syndrome, 56 3-35 yr old non-Down's Syndrome mentally retarded, and 40 normal 1-25 yr old Ss. Dietary and environmental uniformity was maintained by utilizing Down's and non-Down's Ss residing in the same institution. Results show that Down's Ss showed vitamin A values that were significantly higher than those of the non-Down's retarded Ss and similar to those of the normal Ss. Carotene values were similar in the Down's and non-Down's retarded groups, but were significantly higher than those of the normal Ss. This difference in carotene is seen as reflecting in part the high level of carotenoid products in the institutional diet. Carotene/vitamin A ratio values are reported, and the possibility that relatively high ratio values reflected a decreased efficiency in converting carotene to vitamin A is discussed. It is suggested that Down's Ss may suffer some impairment in the utilization of vitamin A at its site of action.