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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;87(6):1715-22.

A micronutrient-fortified seasoning powder reduces morbidity and improves short-term cognitive function, but has no effect on anthropometric measures in primary school children in northeast Thailand: a randomized controlled trial.

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Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Salaya, Thailand.



Reductions in iodine and zinc deficiencies and improvements in hemoglobin were achieved from a micronutrient-fortified seasoning powder consumed in school lunches by children in northeast Thailand.


The objective was to determine whether fortification with 4 micronutrients in a school lunch results in changes in children's growth, morbidity, and cognitive function compared with no fortification.


In a randomized controlled trial of 569 children aged 5.5-13.4 y from 10 schools, we compared the efficacy of a seasoning powder fortified with or without 5 mg Fe, 5 mg Zn, 50 mug I, and 270 mug vitamin A per serving consumed with a school lunch 5 d/wk. Here we report on results of the secondary functional outcomes.


The groups were comparable concerning compliance and loss to follow-up. The intervention had no statistically significant effect on anthropometric measures over 31 wk, but reduced the incidence of respiratory-related illnesses [rate ratio (RR): 0.83; 95% CI: 0.73, 0.94], symptoms of runny nose (RR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.92), cough (RR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.66, 0.96), and diarrhea (RR: 0.38; 95% CI: 0.16, 0.90). For the visual recall test, those in the fortified group recalled 0.5 more items (95% CI: 0.1, 0.9) than did the controls. There were no statistically significant differences between groups in the results of the digits forward and backward tests or in school grades at the conclusion of the 2 semesters.


The beneficial effects on morbidity and visual recall over a short period, in addition to some biochemical improvements, highlight the potential of this micronutrient-fortified seasoning powder supplied in a school lunch. This trial was registered at clinical as ACTRN12605000341628.

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