Read full article @ EurekAlert Photo Credit: PS RAO, ICRISAT
A new study has shown that regular consumption of millets can improve hemoglobin and serum ferritin levels to reduce iron deficiency anemia, which is rising globally. The recently published research, a meta-analysis of 22 studies on humans and eight laboratory studies on millets consumption and anemia, was undertaken by seven organizations across four countries and was led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
“The study concluded that millets can provide all or most of the daily dietary iron requirements of an average person. Although the amount of iron provided depends on the millet variety and its form of processing, the research clearly shows that millets can play a promising role in preventing and reducing high levels of iron deficiency anemia,” highlighted Dr S Anitha, the study’s lead author and Senior Nutritionist at ICRISAT.
The researchers found that millets increased hemoglobin levels by as much as 13.2%. Four studies in the review also showed serum ferritin increasing by an average of 54.7%. Ferritin is an iron containing protein in the blood and is a clinical marker for iron deficiency.
The studies in the analysis involved nearly 1,000 children, adolescents and adults, and six different millet types – finger millet, pearl millet, sorghum and a mixture of kodo, foxtail and little millets. The participants in the studies were found to have consumed millets for anywhere between 21 days and 4.5 years. The findings were published on 14 October in Frontiers in Nutrition.