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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    Food sources of vitamin A and provitamin A specific to Africa: An FAO perspective.

    Codjia G

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2001; 22(4):357-360.

    Vitamin A deficiency is a major public health problem in Africa, especially in the Sahelian countries. It occurs mainly in young children and women of childbearing age. Inadequate intake of vitamin A is the main cause of the deficiency. The main animal sources of vitamin A are liver, eggs, milk, and milk products. They contain 25 to 8,235 retinol equivalents (RE)/100 g of edible portion. Even though these sources are rich in highly bioavailable vitamin A, their consumption among the population is still low. Plant foods rich in provitamin A represent more than 80% of the total food intake of vitamin A because of their low cost, high availability, and diversity. Fruits, roots, tubers, and leafy vegetables are the main providers of provitamin A carotenoids. Because of their availability and affordability, green leafy vegetables are consumed largely by the poor populations, but their provitamin A activity has been proven to be less than previously assumed. Among fruits, mangoes constitute an important seasonal source of vitamin A. Yellow or orange sweet potatoes are rich in provitamin A. Red palm oil has a high concentration of provitamin A carotenoids (500-700 ppm/100 g). Extension of new varieties with a high content of bioavailable provitamin A and locally adapted education and counseling on the handling and storage of provitamin A sources can significantly increase the vitamin A intake of vulnerable people. The Food and Agriculture Organization has implemented projects in several African countries to increase production and promote consumption of locally produced or available vitamin A-rich foods. The focus has been on women as the principal food producers and behavioral change agents. Adoption of food- and agriculture-based strategies as the best, appropriate, efficient, and long-term solution should be the focus of African efforts to improve nutrition. Food sources of vitamin A and provitamin A are plentiful in Africa. Food-consumption practices, food habits, and cultural aspects represent essential factors to be taken into account for successful implementation of these approaches. (author's)
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Safer sex behavior and alcohol consumption.

    Läuchli S; Heusser R; Tschopp A; Gutzwiller F

    Annals of Epidemiology. 1996; 6:357-364.

    To test hypothesis that safer sex procedures are less consistently observed by persons under the influence of alcohol, data from the Swiss human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Prevention Study (HIPS) were evaluated. HIPS is a large prospective cohort study involving 724 HIV-negative and mainly heterosexual subjects who entertain casual sexual contacts. Of the 724 participants, 36% reported that they had had sex while under the influence of alcohol. Of this group, 31% indicated that safer sex procedures were neglected owing to the influence of alcohol. No significant differences with regard to unprotected sexual intercourse were found between subjects who combine sex and alcohol and those who do not. The same was found to be true among subjects with different levels of general alcohol consumption. However, a significant correlation was found between the intensity of alcohol consumption (i.e., the quantity of alcohol intake sitting) and the incidence of unprotected sexual intercourse. These findings show that the relationship, between alcohol consumption and safer sex is complex; they also emphasize the need for preventive efforts to reinforce safer sexual behavior, for example through individual counseling of persons at risk for HIV-infection. (author's)
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