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Center for Human Nutrition

Vitamins and Minerals

Current research focuses specifically on preventing vitamin A, iron, zinc and folate deficiencies via widespread supplementation programs and on quantifying their impact on public health. The micronutrient research team achieves program goals through a global strategy of applied human research, technical assistance, training, teaching and advocacy to ensure that their findings are integrated into public health policies and programs in the countries that stand to benefit most.

Current mineral metabolism studies focus on developing a better understanding of calcium kinetics in groups that may have increased calcium demands, including: children from osteoporotic families, pregnant and lactating adolescents, and children with chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and HIV infection. From these studies, investigators hope to create effective strategies to prevent deficiencies in these groups. 

The Center currently conducts collaborative research and technical assistance activities in South and Southeast Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea), Africa (Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda), Latin America (Mexico, Peru and El Salvador), and the United States (Baltimore, MD).

Newborn Vitamin A Reduces Infant Mortality

“It has long been known that vitamin A supplementation can reduce mortality in children over 6 months of age. Our study showed that vitamin A given at birth can also improve infant survival within the first 6 months of life,” said Rolf D.W. Klemm, DrPH, MPH, the study’s lead author. <More>