Heme Iron Concentrate and Iron Sulfate Added to Chocolate Biscuits: Effects on Hematological Indices of Mexican Schoolchildren

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Abstract

© 2016, © American College of Nutrition. Objective: Food fortification is one of the most effective strategies for increasing iron intake in the population. A simple blind trial was conducted to compare the effect of 2 forms of iron fortification and assess the changes in hemoglobin and iron status indices among preschool children from rural communities. Methods: Hemoglobin was evaluated in 47 children aged 3–6 years old. For 72 days (10-week period), children ate Nito biscuits. Thirteen pupils with elevated hemoglobin levels were assigned to the biscuit control group, and pupils with hemoglobin equal to 13.5 mg/dL or less were randomly allocated to consume fortified biscuits with a heme iron concentrate (n = 15) or iron sulfate (n = 19). Changes in hemoglobin, plasma ferritin, and other hematological indices were evaluated with analysis of variance (ANOVA) for repeated measurements. Results: Except mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations (+1.27 ± 2.25 g/dL), hematological indices increased significantly across the study: Mean corpuscular volume (+2.2 ± 1.0 f/dL), red blood cells (+0.30 ± 0.37 M/μL), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (+1.8 ± 1.74 pg), hemoglobin (+1.68 ± 0.91 g/dL), hematocrit (+3.43% ± 3.03%), and plasma ferritin (+18.38 ± 22.1 μg/L) were all p < 0.05. After 10 weeks, the adjusted effect of the iron-fortified chocolate biscuits in the hemoglobin levels was higher than the control group (+1.1 ± 0.2 g/dL) but no difference was found between consumers of fortified biscuits with heme iron concentrate or iron sulfate (+1.9 ± 0.2 g/dL and +2.0 ± 0.2 g/dL, respectively). Conclusion: Heme iron concentrate and iron sulfate were equally effective in increasing Hb levels and hematological indices. Processed foods were shown to be an effective, valuable, and admissible intervention to prevent anemia in preschool children.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)544-551
Number of pages488
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Aug 2016

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