Effect of Consuming Zinc-fortified Bread on Serum Zinc and Iron Status of Zinc-deficient Women: A Double Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial

Akbar Badii, Niloufar Nekouei, Mohammad Fazilati, Mohammad Shahedi, Sajad Badiei


After iron deficiency, zinc deficiency is the major micronutrient deficiency in developing countries, and staple food fortification is an effective strategy to prevent and improve it among at-risk-populations. No action has been taken to reduce zinc deficiency via flour fortification so far in Iran, and little is known about the influence of zinc fortification of flour on serum zinc and the iron status, and also about the optimum and effective amount of zinc compound that is used in food fortification. The objective of this study is to evaluate the influence of consuming zinc-fortified breads on the zinc and iron status in the blood serum. In this study, three types of bread were prepared from non-fortified and fortified flours, with 50 and 100 ppm elemental zinc in the form of sulfate. Eighty zinc-deficient women aged 19 to 49 years were randomly assigned to three groups; The volunteers received, daily, (1) a non-fortified bread, (2) a high-zinc bread, and (3) a low-zinc bread for one month. Serum zinc and iron were measured by Atomic Absorption before and after the study. Results showed a significant increase in serum zinc and iron levels in all groups (p < 0.001) except in the control (p > 0.05). Absorption of zinc and iron in the group that consumed high-zinc bread was significantly greater than that in the group that received low-zinc bread (p < 0.01). It was concluded that fortification of flour with 50–100 ppm zinc was an effective way to achieve adequate zinc intake and absorption in zinc-deficient people. It also appeared that consuming zinc-fortified bread improved iron absorption

 Key Words: Bread fortification, serum iron, serum zinc, zinc deficiency, zinc sulfate

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