Lysine fortification of wheat flour improves selected indices of the nutritional status of predominantly cereal-eating families in Pakistan

Tajammal Hussain, Shaid Abbas, Mushtaq A. Khan, Nevin S. Scrimshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Wheat provides more than 50% of the protein and calorie intake of the population of Pakistan. Legumes and animal protein that could complement the amino acid pattern of wheat, in which lysine is the first limiting amino acid for utilization of protein, are not affordable by members of lower socioeconomic groups in developing countries. The purpose of the study was to determine whether lysine fortification of wheat flour would have a positive impact on populations consuming a predominantly wheat-based diet. A double-blind study was carried out for three months on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan. Forty families received wheat flour fortified with lysine, and 40 families received wheat flour without lysine. Wheat provided 59% of the protein for men, 65% for women, and 58% for children. The weight and height of the children in both groups increased during the study, but the increase was significantly greater in the lysine group. Hemoglobin increased significantly in the women receiving lysine-fortified flour. Transferrin levels increased significantly in men, women, and children in the lysine group as compared with those in the control group. Prealbumin increased significantly in adults receiving additional lysine but decreased in children. Men, women, and children in the lysine-supplemented families had significant increases in CD4, CD8, and complement C3 as compared with controls. These results indicate that lysine fortification of wheat flour can significantly improve sensitive indicators of nutritional status in a population consuming a diet in which 58% to 65% of the protein, depending on age and sex, is supplied by wheat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Fortification
  • Immunological status
  • Lysine
  • Nutritional status
  • Pakistan
  • Wheat flour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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