Keywords: Moringa oleifera leaf, infants, haemoglobin, serum ferritin, serum retinol, public health, maize, iron status, Nigeria
Moringa oleifera leaf improves iron status of infants 6-12 months in Nigeria
The study examined the effect of pulverised Moringa oleifera leaf added to maize traditional complementary food (MTCF) on the iron status of infants 6-12 months in Nigeria. Fourty infants were used for the four-week intervention study. The haemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin (SF) and serum retinol (SR) levels of the infants were determined at baseline and at the end of the study. The infants were randomly assigned to test group (TG) and control group (CG) (n = 20). Infants in the TG received MTCF with Moringa oleifera leaf while the CG had only MTCF. For the TG, the mean Hb increased from 10.65 to 12.98 g dl−1. The proportion of the infants with SF levels below 12 μg l−1 fell from 90% to 5% and those with SR levels below 20 μg dl−1 fell from 85% to 15%. There were no significant changes in the mean Hb, SF and SR levels of infants in the CG.