September 20, 2011
JAMSHORO, PakistanResearchers from the University of Sindh found children of both genders who suffer night blindness were deficient in several minerals, but had elevated sodium levels. Their study was reported in a recent issue of Clinical Laboratory (57(7-8):559-574).
Noting the prevailing hypothesis that nutritional deficiency is among the multiple causes of night blindnessinsufficient vitamin A has been linked to blindness in developing countriesthe researchers set out to compare magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), potassium (K) and sodium (Na) levels in the scalp hair, serum, blood and urine of children divided into two age groups: 1- to 5-year-olds and - to ten- year-olds. They compared the study groups to gender- and age-matched controls.
The scientists developed a microwave assisted wet acid digestion procedure as a sample pretreatment for the determination of Mg, Ca, K, and Na in biological samples of children with night blindness. Further, they validated their method using conventional wet digestion and certified reference samples of hair, serum, blood, and urine. They employed flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) using an air/acetylene flame to analyze the samples.
The tests revealed the children of both age groups and genders with night blindness had significantly lower levels of Mg, Ca, and K in all sample types (blood, serum, and scalp hair) and higher values of Na, compared to the control subjects of both genders.
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