The positive effect on the blood markers of iron status suggests that the micronutrients-enriched LNS was indeed consumed by the infants and that the iron was bioavailable and efficiently absorbed, with the aid of vitamin C. Multiple micronutrient supplements with iron included in the composition have improved iron status in the past just as well as iron supplements alone (Smuts et al. 2005). The current findings confirm that a combined supplement can have significant effects on iron status.
Seeing as mean serum zinc was not higher in the intervention children than in the controls, it appears that either the zinc was not absorbed or the outcome measured was not an accurate indicator of true zinc status. The bioavailability of the zinc was tested previously, and it was highly bioavailable in its current form. Recent studies have shown that iron does not inhibit the absorption of zinc, both in trials with infants (Domellof et al. 2009) and with mathematical models (Miller et al. 2013). Therefore, plasma zinc conce...
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...e way of doing this would be to collect information about breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices before the start of a trial in order to help determine the types of micronutrients and the exact amounts needed in the supplement.
The short-term benefits associated with multiple micronutrient supplementation might not be worth the risks. A review of trials using micronutrient powders came to the same conclusions as the current study. Haemoglobin concentration improved and iron deficiency anaemia was reduced, but there was no effect on linear growth and the incidence of diarrhoea increased (Bhutta et al. 2013). A higher prevalence of diarrhoea in the intervention groups is worrisome, so more research is needed to determine the ideal composition of multiple micronutrient supplements for children who live in developing countries with a high infectious burden.
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