The effects of regular consumption of a multiple micronutrient fortified milk beverage on the micronutrient status of school children and on their mental and physical performance

Rebecca Kuriyan, Prashanth Thankachan, Sumithra Selvam, Maria Pauline, K Srinivasan, Shilpa Kamath-Jha, Sophie Vinoy, Situn Misra, Yvonne Finnegan, Anura V Kurpad
Clinical Nutrition 2016, 35 (1): 190-8
Multiple micronutrient deficiencies exist in school going children in India and bridging the gap between nutrient intake and requirements is an effective way to combat the deficiencies. This study aimed to test the effect of a multi-micronutrient fortified malt and cocoa based milk beverage on the micronutrient status, cognition, physical performance and nutritional deficiencies of 7-10 years old south Indian children. A randomized, double blind placebo controlled study design was used with normal healthy children from low to middle income families, aged 7-10 years randomly assigned to receive either a multi-micronutrient fortified or an unfortified milk based control drink. The drinks were provided 6 days/week for 5 months. Assessments included anthropometry, blood biochemistry, physical performance and cognition at baseline and endline. The baseline characteristics of the study groups were similar. The changes in body weight and height were similar between the groups at the end of the study. Levels of vitamin B12, red cell folate and vitamin B2 significantly improved in the intervention group, while vitamin D, selenium and body iron showed no difference. The Hemoglobin (Hb) and serum ferritin levels of the control group decreased at endline, while those in the intervention group maintained their levels. The serum transferrin receptor levels increased in both the groups. The prevalence of iron deficiency and Vitamin B2 deficiency were significantly lower in the intervention group at endline. Overall improvement in cognitive and physical performance was seen in both the groups at endline, with no significant differences between the groups. The micronutrient fortified milk based drink was efficacious in improving the micronutrient status of Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12 and red cell folate and in preventing a decline in Hb level compared to an unfortified milk based drink. It also reduced anemia and the risk of deficiencies of iron, and B12, in apparently healthy children. IdentifierNCT01415557. Clinical Trial RegistryIndia - REF/2012/12/004332.

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