The effect of caloreen (glucose polymer) supplementation on indicators of iron status during protein-energy malnutrition was studied. Sixty-four children with moderate protein energy malnutrition (PEM) were fed diets supplemented with caloreen or starch (control) for 14 days, following which iron status as packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin (Hb), serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), serum ferritin, and urinary iron levels were determined. Caloreen supplementation significantly increased (P less than 0.05). PCV, serum iron and serum ferritin and decreased (P less than 0.05) TIBC. Also, there was a tendency for Hb to increase and urinary iron to decrease in this group, but these changes were not statistically significant. Such changes were not observed in the starch-placebo-supplemented group. It is concluded that caloreen supplementation to PEM children increases body iron status. These increases in the indices of iron status may contribute to an early recovery of anaemia associated with PEM. Prolonged supplementation of a regular diet with glucose early in the development of PEM may retard the development and severity of anaemia in children.