Pots and Pans Combat Anaemia!

Summary of published paper

A letter in Field Exchange issue 1, raised the interesting idea that cooking in iron pots and pans might increase the iron content of foods and that this might be a valuable strategy to help reduce incidence of anaemia in emergency affected populations. Results from a recent study suggest that this may well be the case (Eds).

The study set out to determine the efficacy of cooking food in iron pots to prevent anaemia in premature healthy infants from families of low socio-economic status between 4-12 months in Brazil. The infants were randomly allocated into two groups at the beginning of month 4 with follow up to 12 months. The study group of 22 infants had their food cooked in iron pots and the control group of 23 infants had food cooked in aluminium pots. At 12 months of age the group fed with iron pots had significantly better iron status as measured by indicators like haemoglobin level. Iron deficiency anaemia was observed in 36.4% of infants in the group fed food cooked in iron pots and in 73.9% of infants fed food cooked in aluminium pots. The results indicated that the iron added to food cooked in the iron pots was bio-available but still insufficient to satisfy high iron requirements of pre-term infants. The researchers concluded that cooking in iron pots might be considered a useful adjunct to programmes to prevent iron deficiency in populations with high rates anaemia.

Reference

Borigato. V and Martinez. F (1998): Iron Nutritional Status is Improved in Brazilian Preterm Infants Fed Food Cooked in Iron Pots. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 1998, Vol. 3, pp855-859

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Reference this page

Pots and Pans Combat Anaemia!. Field Exchange 5, October 1998. p6. www.ennonline.net/fex/5/pots