The effect of daily consumption of the small fish Amblypharyngodon mola or added vitamin A on iron status: a randomised controlled trial among Bangladeshi children with marginal vitamin A status

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Mola (Amblypharyngodon mola) is a nutrient-rich, small fish found in ponds and rice fields in Bangladesh. The aim of the present intervention was to assess the effect of mola consumption on iron status in children with marginal vitamin A status.

METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: Bangladeshi children (n=196), aged 3-7 years, with marginal vitamin A status were randomly allocated to one of three intervention groups served different fish curries: mola curry (experimental group); rui (Labeo rohita) curry with added retinyl palmitate (positive control group); or rui curry (negative control group). The intervention meals were served 6 days/week for 9 weeks. The experimental and positive control meals were designed to contain similar amounts of retinol activity equivalents per portion. The mola curry contained four times more iron compared to the rui curries due to different iron content in the two fish species. Haemoglobin, ferritin, serum transferrin receptor and Creactive protein were measured at screening and endpoint.

RESULTS: In the experimental group receiving mola, serum transferrin receptor concentration declined 0.73 mg/L (95% CI 0.17, 1.28, p=0.01) compared to the positive control group, while there were no differences between groups in ferritin or haemoglobin.

CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of mola instead of rui has potentially an effect on iron status in children with marginal vitamin A status, seen as a decrease in serum transferrin receptor concentration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 164452627