Nav: Home

Nothing fishy about better nutrition for mums and babies

January 10, 2017

Researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and the University of Adelaide have found a way to provide mothers and young children in Cambodia with better nutrition through an unlikely source -- fish sauce.

Professor Tim Green, Principal Nutritionist within SAHMRI's Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children theme and Affiliate Professor, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, and his team were seeking ways to improve the thiamin intake of mothers and children aged between 1-5 years in South-East Asia.

The findings are now published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

The dangers of a thiamin deficiency

Professor Green said that unlike most of the world's populations, thiamin (vitamin B1) deficiency is still common in Cambodia and throughout South-East Asia, putting people at risk of developing a disease called beriberi.

"Beriberi is most serious in babies because babies are born with little thiamin and deficient mothers have low levels of thiamin in their breastmilk," Professor Green said.

"The onset of beriberi is rapid and symptoms include a hoarse cry, vomiting, and diarrhoea. If the baby is not given thiamin, they can die within 24 hours."

The principle of fortification

Professor Green said that in Australia, nutrients that could be lacking in the diet are sometimes added to foods that are commonly consumed, for example, iodine is added to salt and folic acid is added to bread flour.

"We borrowed this principle, called fortification, and added thiamin to fish sauce, a condiment that is found in nearly every Cambodian kitchen," Professor Green said.

A traditional condiment; the perfect vehicle for thiamin fortification

The study found that fish sauce was not only well accepted by Cambodian families, but that it improved blood markers of thiamin status.

Professor Green added: "This research suggests that thiamin-fortified fish sauce has the potential to be a simple, low-cost, and sustainable means of improving dietary thiamin intake and preventing thiamin deficiency in Cambodia."
-end-
Media Contact:

Professor Tim Green


Principal Nutritionist, Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children theme, SAHMRI
Affiliate Professor, Adelaide Medical School
The University of Adelaide
tim.green@sahmri.com" target="_blank">tim.green@sahmri.com

University of Adelaide

Related Nutrition Articles:

Learning about nutrition from 'food porn' and online quizzes
Harvard and Columbia researchers designed an online experiment to test how people learn about nutrition in the context of a social, online quiz.
4 exciting advances in food and nutrition research
New discoveries tied to how food affects our body and why we make certain food choices could help inform nutrition plans and policies that encourage healthy food choices.
Cutting-edge analytics allows health to be improved through nutrition
The company Lipigenia, which specializes in setting out guidelines on appropriate nutrition to achieve people's well-being on the basis of state-of-the-art blood analytics, has embarked on its activity following the partnership reached between AZTI, the Italian enterprise CNR-ISOF and Intermedical Solutions Worldwide.
Nothing fishy about better nutrition for mums and babies
Researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the University of Adelaide have found a way to provide mothers and young children in Cambodia with better nutrition through an unlikely source -- fish sauce.
Nutrition information... for cows?
Cattle need a mixture is legume and grass for a healthy, balanced diet.
Analyzing picture books for nutrition education
Feeding children can be a challenging process for many parents.
Researchers develop new framework for human nutrition
Existing models for measuring health impacts of the human diet are limiting our capacity to solve obesity and its related health problems, claim two of the world's leading nutritional scientists in their newest research.
Nutrition labels on dining hall food: Are they being used? By who?
University of Illinois dining halls voluntarily label foods with nutrition information.
Children's nutrition influenced by local neighborhoods
In an innovative study, Dr. Gilliland and his team used GPS technology to provide evidence that adolescents' exposure to junk food outlets during trips to and from school affects their likelihood of making a junk food purchase.
Leading nutrition experts speak up about malnutrition
Malnutrition is a critical public health problem, affecting many people across the United States and around the world.

Related Nutrition Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".