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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 110-114

Influence of malaria on serum alpha-tocopherol levels in children

1 Department of *Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
2 Department of Biochemistry, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
M O lbadin
Department of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital , PMB 1111, Benin City
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Background: Malaria is associated with production of free oxygen radicals and tumour necrosis factor that are scavenged by anti-oxidants including alpha-tocopherol. Such anti-oxidants could be reduced following malaria infection. The levels of serum alpha-tocopherol in malaria patients were therefore, examined. Objectives: To determine the serum concentration of alpha-tocopherol in children with malaria. : Children's Emergency Room (CHERO) of University of Benin Teaching Hospital , Benin City , N igeria. Design: Prospective, cross-sectional study involving 100 subjects and 40 controls . Methods: Study was conducted at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Benin and Child Health University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City between May and June 2000 . It involved determination of serum alpha-tocopherol levels in cases and controls, using the Quaife's micro-method . Results: Mean (SEM)serum alpha-tocopherol in cases of 2.06(1.23)mg/ml varied significantly from the 8 .68(2.06)mg/ml obtained in controls (p=0 .02) . There was a significant correlation of serum slpha tocopherol levels with age amongst controls (r=0.43; p=0.006) as against what was obtained in cases (r=-0 .08; p > 0.05). Mean serum alpha-tocopherol levels was also independent of degree of malaria parasitaemia in cases. Conclusion: Serum alpha-tocopherol levels in children with malaria is significantly reduced. Further studies, possibly including clinical trials, are recommended to further evaluate these observations of ours.

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