Malnutrition is prevalent on a global scale and has numerous negative consequences for children during the first five years of life. For some children, it can mean struggling with health issues for life or a higher risk of death among those under five years of age.
A new study found that adding a rice bran supplement for infants who were being weaned from their mother’s milk resulted in them receiving more nutrients that enhanced growth and reduced diarrhea, among other findings.
Researchers said the study showed that rice bran, a nutrient-dense, phytochemical-rich food that has shown chronic disease-fighting properties, is a practical dietary intervention strategy in rice-growing regions that have a high prevalence of impaired growth and development in children.
To study the effects of daily rice bran supplementation, the research team collected monthly stool samples from nearly 100 infants in Nicaragua and Mali over the course of six months. Scientists also collected demographic information and made note of household characteristics.
In Nicaraguan infants, length for age changed significantly changed over time, as well a significant reduction in a marker of gut permeability, also known as “leaky gut,” which can result in partially digested food or toxins passing from inside the gastrointestinal tract into the rest of the body.
In Mali, there was a significant change in weight for age scores compared to the control group and researchers also saw a lower incidence of diarrheal episodes for infants 6 to 12 months of age.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on October 18