Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

John T. Smith

Committee Members

Jane R. Savage, Mary Rose Gram


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of feeding male, weanling rats diets which were deficient in both vitamin A and iron on hematologic parameters.

The hematologic parameters which were measured were hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit values, red blood cell counts and cellular morphology of the blood smears as well as the level of iron stored in the liver.

In the first experiment, it was found that rats with iron and vitamin A deficiency, not only had higher hemoglobin and hematocrit values as well as higher red blood cell counts. They also had higher levels of iron in their livers when compared with rats fed diets without iron. Rats deficient in iron developed hypochromic, microcytic anemia, whereas rats deficient in vitamin A had the highest hemoglobin and hematocrit values and red cell counts.

Growth rate was retarded in rats fed diets deficient in either iron or vitamin A. However, the greatest growth retardation was obtained in rats fed diets deficient in both iron and vitamin A.

In order to study whether iron storage of the liver is impaired in vitamin A deficient rats, the second experiment was designed using 59Fe (NH4) (SO4)2 as a tracer. Rats were fed different levels of vitamin A; namely, "0", "4", "250" IU per kilogram of body weight per day for a six week period. At the end of the dietary period no statistically significant difference in iron storage by the liver was observed in any of the three, i.e., vitamin A deficient, vitamin A free or the control groups.

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