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Med J Malaysia. 2004 Jun;59(2):284-93.

Intestinal parasitic infections and micronutrient deficiency: a review.

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Department of Parasitology and Medical Entomology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur.


Malnutrition including vitamin A and iron deficiency and parasitic diseases have a strikingly similar geographical distribution with the same people experiencing both insults together for much of their lives. Parasitic infections are thought to contribute to child malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency through subtle reduction in digestion and absorption, chronic inflammation and loss of nutrients. Parasites may affect the intake of food; it's subsequent digestion and absorption, metabolism and the maintenance of nutrient pools. The most important parasites related to nutritional status are intestinal parasites especially soil transmitted helminthes, Giardia duodenalis, Entamoeba histolytica, followed by other parasites such as the coccidia, Schistosoma sp. and malarial parasites.

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