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CNRC - Abrams Lab

Houston, Texas

Images depicting the Abram lab's research work
Steven Abrams' Micronutrient Research Lab
not shown on screen

International Studies

Beverage Study - Peru

Children drinking orange juiceOur group went to Lima, Peru in 2001 to study the bioavailability effects of iron and zinc from a multiple micronutrient fortified beverage. Multiple micronutrient deficiencies are common among children in resource-poor areas. A fortified beverage containing multiple micronutrients may effectively combat such deficiencies if key nutrients are adequately bioavailable.

Our key collaborator at the Instituto de Investigacion Nutricional is Dr. Nelly Zavaleta. For more information visit

Photo of children with researcher in BotswanaBeverage Supplementation - Botswana

Similar to the Peruvian study of micronutrient-fortified beverages, the Botswana study was conducted to study the efficacy of the multiple micronutrient fortified beverage to enhance the nutritional status of children in Botswana. Study results showed that such a beverage supplementation program may be beneficial to children in areas at risk for micronutrient deficiencies. (Paper in press).

Iron Bioavailbility Study - Mexico

Researcher preparing samples in MexicoThe team traveled to Mexico in 2002 to collaborate with Dr. Salvador Villalpando Hernández and the Centro de Invesitgation en Nutriciion y Salud in Cuernavaca, Mexico to study the bioavailability of iron in different types of supplements.

Because iron can be delivered via a number of different methods, discovering which of these methods provides the greatest amount of iron that is usable by the body (bioavailable) is very important.

Iron deficiency, which can cause a myriad of health problems, could be more effectively and efficiently combated with the use of the most efficient supplementation techniques.

Rickets Study - Nigeria

Photo of child with ricketsNutritional rickets, a pressing pediatric nutrition issue in a large portion of the developing world, has traditionally been ascribed to Vitamin D deficiency. Recent studies in Nigeria, however, suggested that the disease might have its roots in inadequate calcium intake. We traveled to Nigeria in 2003 to collaborate with a team of physicians there to study the affects of calcium supplementation on calcium absorption. We are attempting to determine whether high levels of fractional calcium absorption seen previously in children with rickets are maintained after therapy is begun, leading to a net increase in total calcium absorption.

A team with Dr. Abrams' lab returned to Jos, Nigeria in January 2005 to kick off a new and expanded study on calcium-deficiency rickets in children. We plan to supplement 18 children with active rickets with calcium supplements for six weeks. We also hope to evaluate the effect of adding phytase enzymes to the typical Nigerian foods in an effort to decrease the inhibitors of calcium in the foods and therefore improve overall calcium absorption among children.

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