Archive \ Volume.11 2020 Issue 1

The Effectiveness of Oral Nutritional Supplements Improves the Micronutrient Deficiency of Vietnamese Children with Stunting

Dung Thi Pham, Nhung Thi Ninh, Trong Nang Hoang, Chinh Thi Kieu Pham, Long Hung Nguyen, Trung Quang Tran, Dieu Thi Thu Huynh

Background: Stunted growth is a notable public health crisis in several countries that have low income, especially Vietnam. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate improved growth among stunted children from 24 to 48 months of age through the use of PediaSure fortified milk in Tien Hai District, Thai Binh Province, Vietnam. Methods: A clinical trial study was conducted with 140 children who were 24 to 48 months old and had height-for-age Z-scores (LAZ) lower than -2 SD and weight-for-height Z- scores (WHZ) lower than -1 SD. Each child was given 2 glasses of PediaSure per day continuously for 6 months. Blood samples were taken from all children at the start of the intervention and during 6 months of intervention; this was done to access haemoglobin, albumin, zinc concentrations, C-reactive protein (CRP), and Alpha-1 glycoprotein (AGP). Results: Of the 140 children who participated in the initial study, only 106 children were eligible for analysis and evaluation of intervention effectiveness. After 6 months, the anaemia rate decreased from 29.2% to 10.4%. The prevalence of albumin deficiency also improved significantly from 82.1% to 20.8%. Zinc deficiency decreased from 66.0% to 29.2%. Assessing the improvement of biochemical markers by gender and age, our results showed that women had better improvement than men in Hb, albumin, and zinc. A comparing the two age groups, the results also showed that the 24-month to 36-month age groups had a better level of improvement in biochemical indices. Conclusion: Milk is an effective and widely accepted vehicle for the delivery of zinc, iron and other micronutrients in young children. Also, the multiple-micronutrient supplementation of milk shows strong potential to increase serum levels and decrease deficiencies of micronutrients known to impair growth, cognition, and immune responses.

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