Changes in Micronutrient Status

Few studies document the changes in micronutrient status that can be expected from the seasonal changes in dietary quality. In The Gambia both plasma ascorbate and breast-milk ascorbate had seasonal fluctuations connected with fruit and vegetable intake. Carotenoids also showed a three-fold fluctuation, while retinol was unchanged.

In another study in undernourished children in The Gambia significant seasonal changes were observed for hemoglobin levels and plasma concentrations of vitamin C and a- and ^-carotene. Hemoglobin levels decreased with the wet season, while vitamin C and a- and ^-carotene plasma levels were highest during the mango season (April-May) and during the rainy season (September-October) when green leafy vegetables are abundant. Zinc and reti-nol plasma levels were not significantly affected by seasonality.

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