Food-based strategies improve iron status in toddlers: a randomized controlled trial12.


Szymlek-Gay, EA; Ferguson, EL; Heath, AL; Gray, AR; Gibson, RS; (2009) Food-based strategies improve iron status in toddlers: a randomized controlled trial12. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 90 (6). pp. 1541-51. ISSN 0002-9165 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.2009.27588

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Nonanemic iron deficiency is common in toddlers in developed countries. Food-based strategies are safe methods to control and prevent mild micronutrient deficiencies. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine the efficacy of an increased intake of red meat, or the consumption of iron-fortified milk, in improvement of iron status in toddlers at a population level. DESIGN: In this 20-wk randomized placebo-controlled trial, 225 healthy nonanemic 12-20-mo-old children were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: red meat (toddlers encouraged to consume approximately 2.6 mg iron from red meat dishes daily), fortified milk [toddlers' regular milk replaced with iron-fortified (1.5 mg iron/100 g prepared milk) cow milk], or control [toddlers' regular milk replaced with nonfortified (0.01 mg iron/100 g prepared milk) cow milk]. Blood samples were collected at baseline and at 20 wk for hemoglobin, serum ferritin, serum transferrin receptor, and C-reactive protein. The prevalence of suboptimal iron status (ie, depleted iron stores, iron-deficient erythropoiesis, and iron deficiency anemia) was determined, and body iron was calculated. RESULTS: No intervention effects were shown on the prevalence of suboptimal iron status. Serum ferritin increased by 44% (95% CI: 14%, 82%; P = 0.002) in the fortified milk group, did not change (+10%) in the red meat group (95% CI: -7%, 30%; P = 0.241), and tended to decrease (-14%) in the control group (95% CI: -27%, 1%; P = 0.063). By 20 wk, in comparison with the control group, serum ferritin and body iron were significantly higher in the fortified milk group (both P < 0.001), and serum ferritin was significantly higher in the red meat group (P = 0.033). CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of iron-fortified milk can increase iron stores in healthy nonanemic toddlers, whereas increased intakes of red meat can prevent their decline. This trial was registered at actr.org.au as ACTRN12605000487617.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre
PubMed ID: 19828711
Web of Science ID: 272034900015
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1973

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