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Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Nov;58(5):622-6.

Evaluation of a gastric delivery system for iron supplementation in pregnancy.

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Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute, Kingston, Jamaica.


The present investigation was undertaken to assess the efficacy of oral iron supplementation during pregnancy by using a gastric delivery system (GDS). Three hundred seventy-six pregnant women between 16 and 35 y of age and 14 and 22 wk gestation were selected if mild anemia was present (hemoglobin concentration 80-110 g/L). The participants were randomly assigned to one of three study groups given no iron, two FeSO4 tablets (100 mg Fe) daily, or one GDS capsule (50 mg Fe) daily. Blood was obtained initially and after 6 and 12 wk for measurement of red blood cell and iron indexes, including serum transferrin receptor. There was a significant and comparable improvement in hematologic and iron-status measurements in the two groups of women given iron whereas iron deficiency evolved in women given no iron supplement. We conclude that by eliminating gastrointestinal side effects and reducing the administration frequency of an iron supplement to once daily, a GDS offers significant advantages for iron supplementation of pregnant women.

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