Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Iron supplements help anemic children even if they have colds

22.01.2003


In a recent study, giving iron supplements to anemic children when they have a cold or other upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) significantly improved their iron status without increasing stomach upset or other side effects, says a Penn State nutritionist.



Dr. Namanjeet Ahluwalia, associate professor of nutrition and principle investigator on the research team, says, "Because of conflicting results from previous studies, physicians preferred to be cautious and generally withhold iron until a child was infection-free – which could delay the benefits of treatment if a child is iron deficient.

"Our study – the first controlled study in young children with recurrent URTI to date -- shows no increase in gastro-intestinal or other side effects from supplementation. In fact, children who received the iron supplement experienced 9 to 10 fewer sick days than those who did not. Those who did not receive supplementation were sick more often and for longer periods of time."


She adds, "Iron deficiency affects about 10 percent of U.S. infants and toddlers and is a leading health risk factor in high mortality, developing and developed countries. Our study shows there is no longer any reason to give correcting iron deficiency a back seat in children who have upper respiratory tract infections if iron deficiency is indicated."

The team’s study is detailed in a paper, "Iron Supplementation Improves Iron Status and Reduces Morbidity in Children With or Without Upper Respiratory Tract Infections; A Randomized Controlled Study in Colombo, Sri Lanka" which appears in the current (January) issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors are Angela de Silva, a doctoral candidate at the University of Colombo whom Ahluwalia is co-advising; Dr. Sunethra Atukorala, professor of biochemistry at the University of Colombo; and Dr. Irangani Weerasinghe, a physician at the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Colombo and Ahluwalia.

Nearly 500 children were recruited for the study from among the patients at the Outpatient Department of the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which is a non-fee, state-run hospital. Children with severe anemia, a history of other systemic diseases, chronic bronchial asthma, or chronic diarrhea were excluded from the study, and followed up with medical treatment.

Among the study participants with infections, 127 children were given supplements and 52 given a placebo or pills that did not contain iron. One hundred and thirty four children without infection were given iron and 50 given the placebo. All children who were still anemic at the end of the 8-week study period received supplements. The supplement was a tablet containing 60 mg of iron, the recommended daily dose.

Of the children with infections, those who received iron had 29 percent fewer upper respiratory episodes than those who received a placebo and had infectious episodes that were 40 percent less severe than those of the children who received placebos. Children who did not have iron deficiency but received iron anyway didn’t have an increase in colds or stomach upset versus those given placebo.

The authors write, "The higher mean number of illness-free days in the children who received iron than in those who received placebo suggests that iron supplementation is likely to improve the quality of life of these children and ensure better school attendance."

Barbara Hale | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

nachricht Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>