Skip Navigation
Center for Human Nutrition

Maternal Vitamin A or Beta-Carotene Supplementation Trial to Reduce Maternal and Infant Mortality

JiVitA-1 Worker and Pregnant Woman

Study Duration

July 2001 - January 2007


Gaibandha and Rangpur Districts, Bangladesh


JiVitA-1 was a  cluster-randomized, placebo-controlled community trial that assessed the effect of antenatal-to-postnatal, weekly supplementation of ~60,000 pregnant women with a vitamin A, beta-carotene or placebo capsule on mortality of women related to pregnancy, fetal loss and infant mortality through 12 weeks postpartum in rural Bangladesh.


  • 7% of mothers in each intervention group initially classified as vitamin A deficient.
  • Vitamin A compared with either placebo or beta-carotene supplementation icnreased plasma retinol concentrations by sttudy end and reduced gestational night blindness.
  • Maternal mortality rate from any cause was 231 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies
  • Neither of the supplement groups mortality outcomes was significantly different from the placebo group outcomes. 


West KP Jr, Christian P, Labrique AB, Rashid M, Shamim AA, Klemm RDW, Massie AB, Mehra S, Schulze KH, Ali H, Ullah B, Wu LSF, Katz J, Banu H, Akhter HH, Sommer A. Effects of Vitamin A or Beta Carotene Supplementation on Pregnancy-Related Mortality and Infant Mortality in Rural Bangladesh: A Cluster Randomized Trial. JAMA, 2011; 305:1986-1995.

Maternal vitamin A: Effects on mothers, effects on offspring. The JiVitA Journal Brief No. 3, Sep 2012