COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Randomised comparison of the effects of Sprinkles and Foodlets with the currently recommended supplement (Drops) on micronutrient status and growth in Iranian children

K Samadpour, K Z Long, R Hayatbakhsh, G C Marks
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2011, 65 (12): 1287-94
21750564

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Multiple micronutrient supplementation with Sprinkles powder and crushable Foodlets tablets may be effective means of controlling micronutrient deficiencies in infants. Their efficacy has not been tested in countries like Iran where wheat as the staple food may affect nutrient bioavailability. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of Sprinkles, Foodlets and the current supplement (Drops) for improving micronutrient status and growth among Iranian infants.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: Infants of 6-18 months of age, living in an urban district of Iran were randomised to receive daily Sprinkles (n=120), Foodlets (n=121) or Drops (n=121) for 4 months. Haemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin, serum retinol, serum zinc, 25(OH) D concentration and anthropometry were assessed at baseline and at 4 months.

RESULTS: Iron status improved with all treatments. Drops showed significantly greater changes in Hb and serum ferritin, though changes in anaemia prevalence were not different across groups. Infants having Foodlets and Sprinkles had significantly greater reductions in proportion of children with zinc deficiency compared with Drops. No significant differences in treatment effects were observed for mean serum 25(OH) D and retinol, or for growth of infants across groups.

CONCLUSION: The study was the first efficacy trial with Sprinkles and Foodlets in the Middle East where wheat or rice is the principal complementary foods. Differences across treatment groups were largely consistent with supplement micronutrient composition for iron and zinc, with no benefit in this population for serum retinol, 25(OH) D, growth or anthropometric status. The trial identified trade-offs in combining multiple micronutrients in a single delivery mechanism.

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