Systematic review of Zinc fortification trials

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Food fortification resulted in significant improvements in plasma zinc concentrations, a functional indicator of zinc status. There were also positive trends for weight gain, as well as serum hemoglobin and copper concentrations.

The World Health Organization estimations state that nearly two billion people may be deficient in in key vitamins and minerals. Infants and pregnant and lactating women may be particularly vulnerable to such deficiencies. This review aimed to assess the efficacy of zinc fortification on several health outcomes including zinc concentrations, linear growth, weight gain and hemoglobin levels in women and children. Eleven studies were included in this review, with data extracted for meta-analysis. The methodological quality of some data was noted to be insufficient to draw certain conclusions. Results showed food fortification with zinc was associated with significant improvements in the plasma zinc concentrations. Significant differences were observed for height velocity although concluding evidence for this result was weak. Estimates for other outcomes, were statistically insignificant, although they showed positive trends.

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