Keywords: periwinkle, pregnant women, haemoglobin, serum ferritin, public health, Nigeria, pregnancy, iron intake, anaemic women, anaemia, iron deficiency
Food-based strategy to improve iron status of pregnant women in Nigeria
The study determined the effect of daily consumption of periwinkle on the iron status of pregnant women. One hundred and twenty pregnant women in their second trimester who were anaemic were selected from the antenatal clinic of the Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka, Nigeria. The women were randomly assigned to two groups – test group (TG) n = 60 and control group (CG) n = 60. Women in the TG consumed 50 g of periwinkle daily for six weeks with their normal diet while those in the CG consumed only the normal diet. Haemoglobin (Hb) and serum ferritin (SF) levels of the women were taken at baseline and at the end of the study. The mean Hb and SF concentrations of the pregnant women increased from 10.87 to 12.24 g dl−1 and 11.21 to 19.67 μg l−1, respectively in the TG at the end of the study. There were no significant changes in the mean Hb (10.41 vs. 10.46 g dl−1) and SF (11.34 vs. 11.36 μg l−1) concentrations of the women in the CG.