Low-dose weekly supplementation of iron and/or zinc does not affect growth among Bangladeshi infants

C. L. Fischer Walker, A. H. Baqui, S. Ahmed, K. Zaman, S. El Arifeen, N. Begum, M. Yunus, R. E. Black, L. E. Caulfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the effect of low-dose weekly supplementation with iron, zinc or both on growth of infants from 6 to 12 months of age. Subjects/Methods: A total of 645 breastfed infants age 6 months who were not severely anemic (Hb ≥ 90 g l-1) or severely malnourished (weight-for-age ≥ 60% median) were randomized to receive 20 mg iron and 1 mg riboflavin; 20 mg zinc and 1mg riboflavin; 20 mg iron, 20 mg zinc and 1 mg riboflavin; or riboflavin alone (control) weekly for 6 months. Results: Baseline characteristics were similar among the four supplementation groups. Weight, length and mid-upper arm circumference were assessed at baseline, 8, 10 and 12 months of age. There was no interaction of iron and zinc when given in a combined supplement on either weight or length (P > 0.05). There were no effects of either iron or zinc on the rate of length or weight gain for all infants or when stratified by baseline Hb concentration. Conclusions: Weekly supplementation of 20 mg Fe, 20 mg Zn, or both does not benefit growth among infants 6-12 months of age in rural Bangladesh, a region with high rates of anemia and zinc deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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