Effects of bovine serum concentrate, with or without supplemental micronutrients, on the growth, morbidity, and micronutrient status of young children in a low-income, peri-urban Guatemalan community

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jan;62(1):39-50. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602682. Epub 2007 Feb 14.


Objective: To determine the effects of dietary supplements containing bovine serum concentrate (BSC, a source of immunoglobulins) and/or multiple micronutrients (MMN) on children's growth velocity, rates of common infections, and MN status.

Design: Randomized, controlled, community-based intervention trial.

Setting: Low-income, peri-urban Guatemalan community.

Subjects: Children aged 6-7 months initially.

Interventions: Children received one of four maize-based dietary supplements daily for 8 months, containing: (1) BSC, (2) whey protein concentrate (WPC, control group), (3) WPC+MMN, or (4) BSC+MMN.

Results: There were no significant differences in growth or rates of morbidity by treatment group. Children who received MMN had lower rates of anemia and (in the group that received WPC+MMN) less of a decline in serum ferritin than those who did not, but there were no differences in other biochemical indicators of MN status by treatment group.

Conclusions: MMN supplementation reduced anemia and iron deficiency in this population, but the MMN content and source of protein in the supplements did not affect other indicators of MN status, growth or morbidity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / drug therapy
  • Anemia / epidemiology
  • Anemia / mortality
  • Child Development / drug effects*
  • Deficiency Diseases / drug therapy
  • Deficiency Diseases / epidemiology
  • Deficiency Diseases / mortality
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Growth / drug effects*
  • Growth Disorders / epidemiology
  • Growth Disorders / mortality
  • Growth Disorders / prevention & control
  • Guatemala
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Micronutrients / pharmacology*
  • Milk Proteins
  • Morbidity
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Prevalence
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / administration & dosage
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / pharmacology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Whey Proteins


  • Micronutrients
  • Milk Proteins
  • Whey Proteins
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine