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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;60(4):443-54.

Efficacy of combined iron and zinc supplementation on micronutrient status and growth in Vietnamese infants.

Author information

  • 1Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UR 106 Nutrition, Alimentation, Sociétés, Montpellier Cedex, France. j.berger@fpt.vn



To evaluate the effect of combined iron-zinc supplementation on micronutrient status, growth and morbidity.


Randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled supplementation trial.


Rural district of Que Vo, in the Red River Delta in Vietnam.


A total of 915 breast-fed infants aged 4-7 months were included and 784 completed the study.


The Fe-group received daily and for a 6-month period 10 mg of iron, the Zn-group 10 mg zinc, the Fe-Zn group 10 mg iron+10 mg zinc and the placebo group a placebo. Hemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin (SF) and zinc (SZn), and anthropometry were measured before and at the end of the intervention. Morbidity was recorded daily.


Changes of Hb and SF were higher in both Fe and Fe+Zn groups (respectively 22.6 and 20.6 g/l for Hb; 36.0 and 24.8 microg/l for SF) compared to Zn and placebo groups (Hb: 6.4 and 9.8 g/l; SF: -18.2 and -16.9 microg/l, P<0.0001). SZn increased more in Zn group (10.3 micromol/l) than in Fe+Zn group (8.0 micromol/l, P=0.03) and more in these groups compared to Fe and placebo groups (1.6 and 1.2 micromol/l, P<0.0001). Weight gain was higher in the Zn group. No significant effects of supplementations on growth in length or morbidity.


Combined iron-zinc supplementation had a positive effect on iron and zinc status in infants. However, the positive effect of zinc alone on SZn and weight would indicate a negative interaction of iron when added to zinc supplements.


UNICEF New York.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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