Bioavailability of iron and zinc from a multiple micronutrient-fortified beverage

Ana M. Avalos Mishaan, Nelly Zavaleta, Ian J. Griffin, David C. Hilmers, Keli M. Hawthorne, Steven A. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective To test the hypothesis that micronutrient beverages can provide the daily iron and zinc needs of small children. Study design Forty children aged 6 to 9 years were recruited (Lima, Peru). For 4 weeks, they received a daily serving of a beverage containing multiple micronutrients. Over 2 consecutive days, subjects received stable isotope-labeled servings of the beverage with and without a meal as well as an intravenous dose of zinc. Iron and zinc bioavailability were assessed using mass spectrometry. Results Iron absorption was significantly lower with a meal than without (9.8 ± 6.7% versus 11.6 ± 6.9%, P=.04), but zinc absorption was not (24.5 ± 10.7% versus 22.8 ± 7.6%, P=.2). In either case, however, a single daily serving provided most of the iron and zinc requirements for the children. Conclusions Single daily servings of multinutrient-fortified beverages can meet much of the mineral needs for small children. Food has a small inhibitory effect on iron, but not zinc, absorption; therefore, these beverages can be efficacious even when given with a meal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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