Association between serum vitamin A and body mass index in adolescents from NHANES 1999 to 2006


Sci Rep. 2024 May 13;14(1):10859. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-61437-0.


Vitamin A plays a pivotal role in health, particularly in regulating fat metabolism. Despite its significance, research into the direct relationship between vitamin A levels and obesity, especially among adolescents, is sparse. This study aims to explore this association within the adolescent population in the United States. This cross-sectional study analyzed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 1999 to 2006, with 8218 participants. The levels of vitamin A in the serum were determined based on utilizing high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection. The relationship between serum vitamin A concentrations and body mass index (BMI) was evaluated using weighted multiple linear regression models, incorporating subgroup analyses by sex and race/ethnicity to provide nuanced insights. A positive correlation was observed between serum vitamin A levels and BMI, with BMI increasing progressively across vitamin A quartiles (P < 0.001). Using the lowest quartile of serum vitamin A as a reference, the BMI of the highest quartile of serum vitamin A was 1.236 times higher (95% CI 0.888, 1.585). Subgroup analyses revealed that this positive association persisted across different genders and racial/ethnic groups (P < 0.001). Notably, smooth curve fitting and saturation threshold analysis unveiled an inverted U-shaped relationship between serum vitamin A and BMI among female adolescents, non-Hispanic Whites, Mexican Americans, and other races/ethnicities groups. Our study substantiates the association between serum vitamin A levels and the risk of obesity/overweight status in adolescents. The findings suggest the potential serum vitamin A is an early biomarker for identifying obesity risk, although further studies are needed to determine to clarify its role as a contributing factor to obesity. This study contributes to the understanding of nutritional influences on adolescent obesity, highlighting the need for targeted interventions based on serum biomarkers.

PMID:38740865 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-024-61437-0