Milk and cereal products fortified with iron and a combination of other micronutrients are more likely to help reduce iron-deficiency anaemia in children than foods fortified with iron alone, according to a new study commissioned by Nestlé.
Researchers from the Winterthur Institute of Health Economics in Switzerland analysed the combined results of 18 published trials involving a total of more than 5,400 children.
They found consumption of milk and cereal products fortified with iron and other micronutrients - such as zinc and vitamin A - were associated with a significant increase in the level of haemoglobin in young children’s blood.
The researchers found single iron-fortified products increased haemoglobin levels significantly more than similar non-fortified products.
However, multi-micronutrient-fortified milk and cereals produced even more significant increases in haemoglobin than their single iron-fortified counterparts.