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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 1000 - 1004

Vitamin A Content of Southeastern Nigerian Vegetable Dishes, Their Consumption Pattern and Contribution to Vitamin A Requirement of Pregnant Women in Calabar Urban, Nigeria

I.O. Williams, R.S. Parker and J. Swanson    

Abstract: The frequency of consumption of six dark green leafy vegetables (DGLV), their vitamin A values, and the relative contribution of these vegetables to vitamin A requirement of pregnant women in Calabar urban was assessed. A total of 101 pregnant women attending clinic at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Calabar were covered. Using a food-frequency questionnaire, the consumption pattern of the DGLV was assessed. The study revealed that 100% of the women used the six leafy vegetables chiefly in form of soups and pottages. Ikong ubong (Telfairia occidentalis), Mon-mon ikong (Talinum triangulare) and Afang (Gnetum africanum) were extensively consumed by the women with slight variation in their patterns of consumption, while Inyang afia (Amaranthus hybridus), Atama (Heinsia crinita) and Editan (Lasianthera africana) were less frequently consumed. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed the following values of vitamin A in μg RE/100g for the vegetables: Ikong ubong 860±0.10, Mon-mon ikong 39±0.04, Inyang afia 853±0.19, Afang 44±0.18, Atama 26±0.04 and Editan 36±0.04. Also, Ikong soup with a vitamin A value of 4759.75±672 μg RE/100g per portion size (200g) made the highest contribution (255 %) to the vitamin A requirement of the pregnant women, while Atama as Abak (Elaeis guinensis pulp puree) soup (portion size: 150g) with a vitamin A value of 214.33±46 μg RE/100g made the least contribution (12%) to vitamin A requirement in the women. The usual dietary habit of pregnant women in Calabar can sustain their vitamin A status because with the only exception of Atama (Abak soup), a portion size of each of the other green vegetables contain higher levels of vitamin A than the required daily intake of the women.

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