e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Vitamin A fortification of staple foods

Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in more than half of all countries, especially in Africa and South-East Asia. It is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children and increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections. In pregnant women, vitamin A deficiency causes night blindness and may increase the risk of maternal mortality.

Fortification of staple foods with vitamin A may be a cost-effective intervention for reducing vitamin A deficiency, especially in settings where food variety for improved dietary quality is not possible. Current research is aimed at assessing the benefits and harms of fortifying staple foods – such as refined sugar, edible oils and fats, cereal grains, condiments and milk – with vitamin A on vitamin A status and health-related outcomes in the general population. WHO will make recommendations based on the outcomes of this research.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available

Other guidance documents


Related Cochrane review
Clinical trials

Last update:

25 March 2014 13:33 CET

Category 3 intervention

Available evidence is limited and there are no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee