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Public Health Nutr. 2010 Nov;13(11):1923-30. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010000911. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Effect of an improved local ingredient-based complementary food fortified or not with iron and selected multiple micronutrients on Hb concentration.

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Biomedical and Public Health Department, Institute of Research in Health Sciences, 03 BP 5608, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.



To assess the effect of an improved local ingredient-based gruel fortified or not with selected multiple micronutrients (MM) on Hb concentration of young children.


In a nutrition centre that we opened in their villages, children received either MM supplement (containing iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C and iodine) with the improved gruel (MMGG) or the improved gruel only (GG), twice daily, 6 d/week, for 6 months. We assessed baseline and endpoint Hb concentration and anthropometric indices.


Kongoussi, a rural and poor district of Burkina Faso.


In a community-based trial, we randomly assigned 131 children aged 6-23 months with Hb concentrations in the range of 80-109 g/l into two groups.


The groups did not differ significantly at baseline. Mean baseline Hb concentration was 89·2 (sd 6·5) g/l and 90·3 (sd 8·4) g/l in the GG and the MMGG, respectively (P = 0·42). It increased to 104·1 (sd 11·4) g/l in the GG (P < 0·001) and 107·6 (sd 14·7) g/l in the MMGG (P < 0·001). The between-group difference of 3·5 (95 % CI -1·0, 8·1) g/l in mean (sd) endpoint Hb concentration was not significant (P = 0·13). The endpoint anthropometric indices were not different between the groups.


This MM supplement had no additional effect on Hb concentration. Thorough studies are needed to evaluate the actual efficacy of the gruel before its introduction into household routine.

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