Methods: Senegalese children (n=208) were enrolled at 6 months and assigned to one of the two arms (LNS+MN or LNS) of the double-blind randomized trial. Caregivers were asked to give a 20g daily dose of supplement (108kcal) to their child for a 12-month period. The primary outcome was length. Anthropometric status, haemoglobin concentration, iron markers, plasma zinc and morbidity outcomes were assessed at baseline and following 12 months of supplementation.
Results: The 2 groups did not differ significantly at baseline and the compliance was adequate. Anthropometric indicators were not different between the 2 groups after the 12-month intervention. The mean effect size for stunting was 0.28 [(95%CI=-0.40, 0.42), p=0.21]. The LNS+MN group had higher mean haemoglobin concentration [ES=0.98, (95%CI=0.01-1.62), p=0.002] and iron deficiency anaemia was significantly reduced in the LNS+MN group. Means plasma zinc concentration were not significantly different between groups after 12-month follow-up. Caregivers reported more episodes of diarrhoea in the LNS+MN group (p=0.02).
Conclusions: The LNS+MN had no positive effect on linear growth in Senegalese children aged 6 to 18 months compared to the same supplement without additional micronutrients. Further research on the effect of enriched LNS on growth and morbidity outcomes is needed to orient policy makers.
Despite progress, stunting or growth faltering globally affects at least 165 million children, and micronutrient deficiencies or “hidden hunger” r...
... middle of paper ...
...vided in the International Lipid‐Based Nutrient Supplements (iLiNS) project are lowered (6 mg instead of 9 mg) because of these potential adverse effects (10).
In conclusion, the LNS+MN had no positive effect on linear growth in Senegalese children aged 6 to 18 months compared to a placebo. Further research is needed to better understand the effect of enriched LNS on growth, health and morbidity outcomes. On-going and future research might likely provide additional evidence for the appropriate timing and duration of the intervention (as stunting can start in-utero) as well as the adequate composition and size of LNS. While exploring the efficacy and effectiveness of home fortification, it is important to bear in mind that preventing or reversing growth faltering requires multi-faceted approaches beyond stand-alone nutrition-specific interventions (36).
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