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J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):639S-645S.

Multiple micronutrient supplements improve micronutrient status and anemia but not growth and morbidity of Indonesian infants: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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SEAMEO-TROPMED Regional Center for Community Nutrition, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.


Multiple micronutrient deficiencies are highly prevalent in Indonesia, but the interventions are still focused on single micronutrients. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of multiple micronutrient supplements for improving micronutrient status, anemia, growth, and morbidity of Indonesian infants. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 284 infants aged 6-12 mo were randomly allocated to 4 treatment groups for 23 wk; 260 (92%) infants completed the study. Group 1 (DMM) received one adequate intake of multiple micronutrient supplements daily (n = 66); group 2 (WMM) received 2 adequate intakes of multiple micronutrient on 1d plus 6 d of placebo (n = 60); group 3 (DI) received 10 mg of iron supplement daily (n = 69); group 4 received a placebo supplement daily (n = 65). Blood samples were collected at baseline and at posttreatment to assess anemia and micronutrient status. Anthropometric measurements were taken monthly, and morbidity was recorded daily. At baseline, 58.1% of infants were anemic, 34.2% were iron deficient, 21.3% were vitamin A deficient, and 11% were zinc deficient. The DMM and DI supplements both corrected iron deficiency, but DMM supplements were more efficacious in improving hemoglobin levels of anemic infants than the other supplements. However, anemia still persisted in one-third of DMM infants posttreatment. The DMM supplement was more efficacious than WMM or DI supplementation in improving infant status of other micronutrients, including zinc, tocopherol, and riboflavin, whereas DI exacerbated zinc deficiency. There were no significant differences in growth and morbidity among treatment groups, and growth faltering was not prevented.

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