Yet another insightful review by Dr. Birhanie Muluken Walle and his African colleagues on Micronutrients deficiency and their associations with pregnancy outcomes. Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals and trace elements that are used in minute doses as cofactors, antioxidants and modulators of gene transcription homeostasis. Multiple Micronutrients (MMNs) may have a role in averting or treating adverse pregnancy outcomes and maternal complications.
In 2016, WHO suggested the use of iron-folic acid (IFA) rather than multiple micronutrients (MMNs) during pregnancy owing to some feared adverse outcomes like perinatal mortalities. However, this effect is debatable as such complications could be also due to genetic or environmental factors.
Therefore, this appraisal should provide appropriate information and guidance to health workers, scholars and policymakers. This review includes large sample-sized studies with a special focus on developing countries like Ethiopia.
The articles were selected using systematic searching with Boolean operators, advanced search techniques, snowballing and search limits. Mendeley was used as a reference management tool where the source of databases and references were PubMed, AJOL, Google Scholar, IRIS, Summon, DOAJ, Cochrane Library, Oxford Medicine Online, WHO reproductive health libraries majorly from the Hinari program.
Articles from BMC, American Society for Nutrition, Lancet, Elsevier, John Wiley and Sons LTD, PLoS One, Springer and Nature Publishing Groups were also used. The results showed that there are no variations in adverse effects between MMNs and IFA. Moreover, MMNs are valuable in anemic pregnant women with lower preconception weight as it increases maternal weight and reduces low birth weight and anemia more than IFA.
Therefore, MMNs may have greater health benefits than IFA for the offspring by minimizing fetal complications and the cost of their treatment, resulting from the MMN deficiency state.