Author(s): Branger B, Cadudal JL, Delobel M, Ouoba H, Yameogo P, , Branger B, Cadudal JL, Delobel M, Ouoba H, Yameogo P,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Spiruline, a microscopic algae with nutritious quality was put forward as food supplement to fight malnutrition in infant. POPULATION AND METHODS: To assess its effectiveness, a survey was carried out among children with malnutrition whose Z-score was <2 for their age, in the Koudougou province, Burkina-Faso. Within five centers, three groups were defined at randomization: group 1 with usual nutritional rehabilitation program, group 2 as above + 5 g x d(-1) of spiruline, group 3 as above + spiruline + fish. 182 children, aged three months - three years, were originally involved. Six died (3.3\%) and 11 hospitalised were excluded; the study was carried out on 165 children and lasted three months. Judging criteria were: length per aged, weight for length group evolution and the corresponding Z-score at 60 et 90 days. RESULTS: At the inclusion, children were aged 14.6 months on average and weighed 6.7 kg (Z-score of -3.2 weight/age) with a length of 71.4 cm (-2.0 Z-score length/age) and weight for length of 0.093 (-2.5 Z-score). 9.4\% had oedema. There were no noticeable differences between the three groups as to weight gain, length gain, weight for length gain. CONCLUSION: A 5 g x d(-1) spiruline dose does not bring any benefit over 90 days, compared to traditional renutrition. Furthermore, at the moment, it is costly, and the battle against infant malnutrition cannot be based on one single element, such as a wonder drug, but on a national or local policy based on training, education, economical aid, and nutritional rehabilitation centers and infection treatment.
This article was published in Arch Pediatr
and referenced in Maternal and Pediatric Nutrition