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Multiple micronutrient supplementation using spirulina platensis and infant growth, morbidity and motor development: Evidence from a randomized trial in Zambia

Kazuya Masuda and Maureen Chitundu

No 2018-2, CEI Working Paper Series from Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University

Abstract: Background: In developing countries, micronutrient deficiency in infants is associated with growth faltering, morbidity, and delayed motor development. One of the potentially low-cost and sustainable solutions is to use locally producible food for the home fortification of complementary foods. Objective: The objectives were to test the hypothesis that locally producible spirulina platensis supplementation would achieve the following: 1) increase infant physical growth; 2) reduce morbidity; and 3) improve motor development. Design: We randomly assigned 501 Zambian infants into a control (CON) group or a spirulina (SP) group. Children in the CON group (n=250) received a soya-maize-based porridge for 12 months, whereas those in the SP group (n=251) received the same food but with the addition of spirulina. We assessed the change in infants’ anthropometric status, morbidity, and motor development over 12 months. Results: The baseline characteristics were not significantly different between the two groups. The attrition rate (47/501) was low. The physical growth of infants in the two groups was similar at 12 months of intervention, as measured by height-for-age z-scores (HAZ), and weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ). SP infants were less likely to suffer from cough by 11 percentage point (CI: -0.23, -0.00; P

Keywords: chronic malnutrition; home-fortification; spirulina; infant growth; motor development; morbidity; Zambia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 p.
Date: 2018-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-exp and nep-hea
Note: Spirulina supplementation and infant growth, morbidity and motor development
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Handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2018-2