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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011 Aug;85(2):333-40. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2011.10-0651.

Decreased parasite load and improved cognitive outcomes caused by deworming and consumption of multi-micronutrient fortified biscuits in rural Vietnamese schoolchildren.

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  • 1Department of Micronutrient Research and Application, National Institute of Nutrition, Hanoi, Vietnam.


Micronutrient deficiencies are associated with impaired growth and cognitive function. A school-based fortification program might benefit schoolchildren but a high prevalence of parasite infestation might affect effectiveness. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 2 × 2 factorial trial was conducted to assess the efficacy of multi-micronutrient fortified biscuits with or without de-worming on growth, cognitive function, and parasite load in Vietnamese schoolchildren. Schoolchildren (n = 510), 6-8 years of age were randomly allocated to receive albendazole or placebo at baseline and four months of multi-micronutrient fortified biscuits (FB) or non-fortified biscuits. Children receiving FB for four months scored higher on two cognitive tests: Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices and the Digit Span Forward test. Children receiving albendazole plus FB had the lowest parasite load after four months. In children receiving FB, mid-upper arm circumference was slightly improved (+0.082 cm) but there were no differences in other indexes of anthropometry. Combining multi-micronutrient fortified biscuits with de-worming is an effective strategy.

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