A randomized trial of iron-biofortified pearl millet in school children in India

Julia L. Finkelstein, Saurabh Mehta, Shobha A. Udipi, Padmini S. Ghugre, Sarah V. Luna, Michael J. Wenger, Laura E. Murray-Kolb, Eric M. Przybyszewski, Jere D. Haas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Iron deficiency is the most widespread nutritional deficiency in the world. Objective: The objective of this randomized efficacy trial was to determine the effects of iron-biofortified pearl millet (Fe-PM) on iron status compared with control pearl millet (Control-PM). Methods: A randomized trial of biofortified pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), bred to enhance iron content, was conducted in 246 children (12-16 y) for 6 mo in Maharashtra, India. Iron status [hemoglobin, serum ferritin (SF), soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), and total body iron (TBI)], inflammation (C-reactive protein and a-1 acid glycoprotein), and anthropometric indices were evaluated at enrollment and after 4 and 6 mo. Hodges-Lehmann-Sen 95% CIs were used to examine the effect of the Fe-PM on iron status compared with commercially available Control-PM. Linear and binomial regression models were used to evaluate the effects of Fe-PM on iron status and incidence of anemia and iron deficiency, compared with Control-PM. Results: At baseline, 41% of children were iron deficient (SF

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1576-1581
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Anemia
  • Biofortification
  • Children
  • India
  • International nutrition
  • Iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine(all)


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