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Freshwater fish as a dietary source of Vitamin A in Cambodia


Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem among children and women. Common Cambodian fish species were sampled and screened for vitamin A content. Contents of vitamin A-active compounds (all-trans retinol, all-trans dehydroretinol, 13-cis retinol, 13-cis dehydroretinol and β-carotene) were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography in samples of raw, whole fish from 29 fish species and in raw, edible parts from 24 species. Replicate samples were analysed in seven selected species. Two species, Parachela siamensis and Rasbora tornieri had very high vitamin A contents >1500 RAE/100 g raw, whole fish, and six species (Barbodes altus, Barbodes gonionatus, Dermogenys pusilla, Puntioplites proctozysron and Thynnichthys thynnoides) had high contents of 500–1500 RAE/100 g raw, whole fish. Two species, Puntioplites proctozysron and Thynnichthys thynnoides had high vitamin A contents in raw, edible parts, after employing traditional cleaning practices. (RAE: The amount of vitamin A active compounds in food is expressed as retinol activity equivalents (RAE), defined as the bioefficacy relative to all-trans-retinol [West, C. E., & Eilander, A. (2002). Consequences of revised estimates of carotenoid bioefficacy for the control of vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. Journal of Nutrition, 132, 2920S–2926S]. Dehydroretinoids (vitamin A2) are not converted to all-trans-retinol but have similar metabolic functions. In this paper, RAE refers to the functional bioefficacy as defined by Brouwer et al. [Brouwer, I. A., Dusseldorp, M. V., West, C. E., & Steegers-Theunissen, R. P. M. (2001). Bioavailability and bioefficacy of folate and folic acid in man. Nutrition Research Review, 14, 267–293]).


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Chhoun Chamnan

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Department of Fisheries – Cambodia (DoF)

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