A 22-element micronutrient powder benefits language but not cognition in Bangladeshi full-term low-birth-weight children

J Nutr. 2014 Nov;144(11):1803-10. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.193094. Epub 2014 Aug 20.


Background: Low-birth-weight children are known to be at risk of both anemia and cognitive/language deficits in their early years.

Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of a 22-element multiple micronutrient powder (MNP) on the cognitive and language development of full-term low-birth-weight (LBW-T) children in Bangladesh.

Methods: The current study was a follow-up of children who were enrolled in a randomized cluster trial at 7-12 mo of age. Children in 12 intervention clusters (communities) were administered a daily 22-element MNP sachet with their food for 5 mo, and both intervention and control groups (also 12 clusters) received nutrition, health, and hygiene education. The current study involved the assessment of children at 16-22 mo of age (22-element MNP group: n = 96; control group: n = 82) on 3 subtests of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development III test to measure cognitive, receptive language, and expressive language development.

Results: There was a significant effect of the 22-element MNP on children's expressive language scores (d = 0.39), and stunting moderated the effect on receptive language scores; there was no effect on cognitive development (d = 0.08).

Conclusion: An MNP may thus offer one feasible solution to improve language development of LBW-T children in low-resource community settings. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01455636.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bangladesh
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Language Development*
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Micronutrients / pharmacology*


  • Micronutrients

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01455636