Home fortification of foods with multiple micronutrient powders for health and nutrition in children under two years of age

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Home fortification of foods with multiple micronutrient powders (MNP) is an effective intervention to reduce anaemia and iron deficiency in children six months to 23 months of age. Data on effects on malaria outcomes are lacking and further investigation of morbidity outcomes is needed.

Young children are vulnerable to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. MNP have been proposed as an intervention for improving micronutrient intake in children under two years of age. This review aimed to evaluate the effects of home fortification of foods with MNP on nutritional, health and developmental outcomes, in low income countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Eight randomized and quasi-randomized trials with 3748 participants were included, assessed for risk of bias by two independent authors. Trials compared MNP with daily iron drops or a placebo. Results showed home fortification with MNP reduced anaemia by 31% compared to a placebo, no effect on growth was observed. Compared with iron drops, intervention participants showed similar rates of anaemia and haemoglobin concentrations (although data providing these results was considered limited). Little evidence was found on side effects and morbidity, including malaria.

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