Objective: We evaluated the effect of a micronutrient-fortified beverage on mental function in schoolchildren.
Methods: This double-blind, placebo-controlled, matched-pair, cluster, randomized feeding trial assessed baseline before supplementation and after 14 mo in a cohort of 608 children aged 6 to 15 y who received a micronutrient-fortified beverage or placebo. Children in two classes (clusters) in each of nine grades were assessed for intelligence, attention and concentration, memory, and school achievement.
Results: Mean intelligence quotient scores of the micronutrient-fortified beverage group and the placebo group at baseline and final follow-up were not significantly different. Mean verbal and performance scores and increments were also not different. After supplementation, attention-concentration increment scores of the micronutrient group were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those of the placebo group. Mean and incremental scores of the supplemented group on the memory scale were not significantly different from those of the placebo group.
Conclusions: Supplementation with a beverage fortified with a range of micronutrients significantly improved attention-concentration over 14 mo, but not intelligence quotient, memory, or school achievement among middle-income schoolchildren.