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Deficiencies in Micronutrients

We discuss deficiencies in micronutrients.
Lots Of Juicy Delicious Yellow Mangoes
© University of California, Riverside

Deficiencies in micronutrients such as iron, iodine, vitamin A, folate and zinc can have devastating consequences. At least half of children worldwide ages 6 months to 5 years suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiency, and globally more than 2 billion people are affected. Iron is an essential mineral critical for motor and cognitive development. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the consequences of iron deficiency.

Low hemoglobin concentration (anemia) affects 43% of children 5 years of age and 38% of pregnant women globally. Anemia during pregnancy increases the risk of maternal and perinatal mortality and low birth weight. Maternal and neonatal deaths are a major cause of mortality, together causing between 2.5 million and 3.4 million deaths worldwide.

The WHO recommends iron and folic acid supplements for reducing anemia and improving iron status among women of reproductive age. Flour fortification with iron and folic acid is globally recognized as one of the most effective and low-cost micronutrient interventions. Preventing iron deficiency helps improve children’s learning ability and cognitive development.

© University of California, Riverside
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