Ramakrishnan U, Aburto N, McCabe G, Martorell RMicronutrient interventions but not vitamin A or iron interventions alone improve child growth: Results of 3 meta-analysesJ Nutr1342592-2602

Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Journal of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.88). 10/2004; 134(10):2592-602.
Source: PubMed


Meta-analyses of randomized controlled intervention trials were conducted to assess the effects of vitamin A, iron, and multimicronutrient interventions on the growth of children < 18 y old. A PubMed database search and other methods identified 14 vitamin A, 21 iron, and 5 multimicronutrient intervention studies that met the design criteria. Weighted mean effect sizes and CI were calculated using a random effects model for changes in height and weight. Tests for homogeneity and stratified analyses by predefined characteristics were conducted. Vitamin A interventions had no significant effect on growth; effect sizes were 0.08 (95% CI: -0.20, 0.36) for height and -0.01 (95% CI: -0.24, 0.22) for weight. Iron interventions also had no significant effect on child growth. Overall effect sizes were 0.09 (95% CI: -0.07, 0.24) for height and 0.13 (95% CI: -0.05, 0.30) for weight. The results were similar across categories of age, duration of intervention, mode and dosage of intervention, and baseline anthropometric status. Iron interventions did result in a significant increase in hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations with an effect size of 1.49 (95% CI: 0.46, 2.51). Multimicronutrient interventions had a positive effect on child growth; the effect sizes were 0.28 (95% CI: 0.16, 0.41) for height and 0.28 (95% CI: -0.07, 0.63) for weight. Interventions limited to only vitamin A or iron did not improve child growth. Multimicronutrient interventions, on the other hand, improved linear and possibly ponderal growth in children.

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    • "A recent study in Pakistani infants reported a small but significant positive effect of iron - containing MNP on length gain ( Soofi et al . 2013 ) . Former meta - analyses have shown an effect of micronutrients ( Ramakrishnan et al . 2004 ) , but not of iron alone on child growth ( Ramakrishnan et al . 2004 ; Sachdev et al . 2006 ) . However , in one of these meta - analyses , a trend was suggested for an increase in weight through iron supplementation in children from malarial endemic areas ( Sachdev et al . 2006 ) . In a study in South African school children , maize porridge forti - fied with micronutrients including phytase and 2 . 5 m"
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    ABSTRACT: In-home fortification of infants with micronutrient powders (MNPs) containing 12.5 mg iron may increase morbidity from infections; therefore, an efficacious low-dose iron-containing MNP might be advantageous. Effects of iron-containing MNPs on infant growth are unclear. We assessed the efficacy of a low-iron MNP on iron status and growth and monitored safety in a randomised, controlled, double-blind 1-year trial in 6-month-old infants (n = 287) consuming daily a maize porridge fortified with either a MNP including 2.5 mg iron as NaFeEDTA (MNP + Fe) or the same MNP without iron (MNP - Fe). At baseline, after 6 and 12 months, we determined haemoglobin (Hb), iron status [serum ferritin (SF), soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) and zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP)], inflammation [C-reactive protein (CRP)] and anthropometrics. We investigated safety using weekly morbidity questionnaires asking for diarrhoea, cough, flu, bloody or mucus-containing stool and dyspnoea, and recorded any other illness. Furthermore, feeding history and compliance were assessed weekly. At baseline, 71% of the infants were anaemic and 22% iron deficient; prevalence of inflammation was high (31% had an elevated CRP). Over the 1 year, Hb increased and SF decreased in both groups, without significant treatment effects of the iron fortification. At end point, the weight of infants consuming MNP + Fe was greater than in the MNP - Fe group (9.9 vs. 9.5 kg, P = 0.038). Mothers of infants in the MNP + Fe group reported more infant days spent with cough (P = 0.003) and dyspnoea (P = 0.0002); there were no significant differences on any other of the weekly morbidity measures. In this study, low-dose iron-containing MNP did not improve infant's iron status or reduce anaemia prevalence, likely because absorption was inadequate due to the high prevalence of infections and the low-iron dose.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Maternal and Child Nutrition
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    • "One year of fortification resulted in an improvement in linear growth with a statistically significant change in height velocity and height for age Z- scores, but not on weight and BMIZ which was likely attributed to the synergetic effects of the micronutrients including the presence of zinc [39]. A meta-analysis on the effects of micronutrients on growth in children up to 18 years of age found that interventions with iron or vitamin A alone did not have an effect on either height or weight gain, whereas MMN interventions, 80% of which included vitamin A, iron, and zinc, significantly improved linear growth and also had a small (not statistically significant) positive effect on weight gain [40]. These findings would suggest that providing specific micronutrients results in a better height gain, and reversal of growth faltering over and above of macronutrients [26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Interventions providing foods fortified with multiple micronutrients can be a cost-effective and sustainable strategy to improve micronutrient status and physical growth of school children. We evaluated the effect of micronutrient-fortified yoghurt on the biochemical status of important micronutrients (iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin A) as well as growth indicators among school children in Bogra district of Bangladesh. METHODS: In a double-masked randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted in 4 primary schools, 1010 children from classes 1--4 (age 6--9 years) were randomly allocated to receive either micronutrient fortified yoghurt (FY, n = 501) or non-fortified yoghurt (NFY, n = 509). For one year, children were fed with 60g yoghurt everyday providing 30% RDA for iron, zinc, iodine and vitamin A. Anthropometric measurements and blood/urine samples were collected at base-, mid- and end-line. All children (FY, n = 278, NFY, n = 293) consenting for the end-line blood sample were included in the present analyses. RESULTS: Both groups were comparable at baseline for socio-economic status variables, micronutrient status markers and anthropometry measures. Compliance was similar in both the groups. At baseline 53.4% of the population was anemic; 2.1 % was iron deficient (ferritin <15.0 mug/L and TfR > 8.3mg/L). Children in the FY group showed improvement in Hb (mean difference: 1.5; 95% CI: 0.4-2.5; p = 0.006) as compared to NFY group. Retinol binding protein (mean diff: 0.05; 95% CI: 0.002-0.09; p = 0.04) and iodine levels (mean difference:39.87; 95% CI:20.39-59.35;p < 0.001) decreased between base and end-line but the decrease was significantly less in the FY group. Compared to NFY, the FY group had better height gain velocity (mean diff:0.32; 95% CI:0.05-0.60;p = 0.02) and height-for-age z-scores (mean diff:0.18; 95% CI:0.02-0.33;p = 0.03). There was no difference in weight gain velocity, weight-for-age z-scores or Body Mass Index z-scores. CONCLUSION: In the absence of iron deficiency at baseline the impact on iron status would not be expected to be observed and hence cannot be evaluated. Improved Hb concentrations in the absence of a change in iron status suggest improved utilization of iron possibly due to vitamin A and zinc availability. Fortification improved height gain without affecting weight gain.Trial registration: NCT00980733.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · BMC Public Health
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    • "Whether or not such supplementation is of any benefit to low birth weight infants is unclear. Interestingly, the findings from several systematic reviews / meta-analyses examining the effects of iron supplementation in children suggest that supplementation improves hematologic markers of iron status [16,17], but does not markedly improve growth, or mental or motor development [18-20]. Although a number of studies have reported on the effects of iron supplementation in low birth weight infants, no systematic review of the available evidence has been conducted to date. "
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    ABSTRACT: A number of studies have reported on the effects of iron supplementation in low birth weight infants; however, no systematic review of the available evidence has been conducted to date. Hence, we performed a systematic review of the literature to examine the effects of iron supplementation on hematologic iron status, growth, neurodevelopment, and adverse effects in low birth weight/premature infants. We searched the Cochrane Library, Medline, and PubMed for articles reporting on the effects of iron supplementation in low weight infants. The following search terms were used: "preterm born infant(s)/children"; "preterm infants"; "prematurely born children" "weight less than 1500 g at birth"; "born prematurely"; "low birth weight infant(s)"; "infants born preterm"; "prematurity"; "small-for-gestational age"; "very small gestational age infants"; "iron supplementation"; "iron intake"; "iron supplements"; "ferric and/or ferrous compounds"; and "ferrous sulphate/fumarate/sulfate". A total of 15 studies were identified and included in the systematic review. Supplemental iron was given orally or as an iron-fortified formula in 14/15 studies. The duration of treatment ranged from 1 week to 18 months. Iron supplementation significantly increased hematologic measures of iron status (including hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum ferritin) relative to placebo or over time in most studies. All controlled studies that examined iron-deficiency anemia (IDA)/ID reported a decreased prevalence of IDA/ID with iron supplementation. Dose dependent decreases in the prevalence of IDA/ID were reported in several studies. Of the 5 studies reporting on growth, none found any significant effect on growth-related parameters (length, height, weight, and head circumference). Only 2 studies reported on neurodevelopment; no marked effects were reported. There were no consistently reported adverse effects, including oxidative stress, inhibited nutrient absorption, morbidity, or the requirement for blood transfusion. The available data suggest that iron supplementation increases the levels of hematologic indicators of iron status and reduces the prevalence of IDA/ID in low birth weight/premature infants. There is insufficient evidence to make a definitive statement regarding the effects of iron supplementation on growth, neurodevelopment, or the occurrence of adverse effects in low birth weight/premature infants.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · BMC Pediatrics
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