Publications by authors named "Kyly C Whitfield"

40 Publications

"Too Old" and "Too Cold": Discomfort Towards Photographs of Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy and Public Breastfeeding in Nova Scotia, Canada.

J Hum Lact 2021 Sep 22:8903344211046191. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Background: Social norms and public perception of breastfeeding are well-established predictors of breastfeeding outcomes; however, little is known about perceptions of breastfeeding beyond infancy or public breastfeeding among the public in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Research Aim: To explore public opinion about breastfeeding beyond infancy and public breastfeeding.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study participants were recruited from public spaces in Nova Scotia, Canada. Using photo elicitation methods, participants ( = 229) viewed six photographs of breastfeeding children aged 2 weeks, 13 months, and 2.5 years, one photograph captured at home, and the other in a public space (a café, a store, or outdoors). Participants were asked to score their self-rated comfort with each photograph on a 10.0 cm visual analog scale and asked to share their feelings about each photograph (open-ended responses).

Results: Mean () visual analog scale comfort scores for photographs differed by location (private, 7.9 [2.2]; public, 7.3 [2.6]; < .05) and child age (2 weeks, 8.5 [2.0]; 13 months, 7.5 [2.6]; 2.5 years, 6.9 [3.0]; < .05). Participants who identified as women and parents self-reported significantly higher comfort with all photographs, while younger participants and urban dwellers were generally less comfortable. Open-ended responses varied considerably, but a higher proportion of negative comments were reported for older children feeding in public spaces (e.g., 2.5-year-old in public: "Inappropriate. Indecent. Abnormal.").

Conclusion: Given the importance of social norms in supporting breastfeeding, future public health campaigns should strive to normalize breastfeeding beyond infancy, and in public spaces.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/08903344211046191DOI Listing
September 2021

Thiamine supplementation holds neurocognitive benefits for breastfed infants during the first year of life.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2021 08 7;1498(1):116-132. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Women reliant on mostly rice-based diets can have inadequate thiamine intake, placing breastfed infants at risk of thiamine deficiency and, in turn, physical and cognitive impairments. We investigated the impact of maternal thiamine supplementation doses on infants' cognitive, motor, and language development across the first year. In this double-blind, four-parallel-arm, randomized controlled trial, healthy mothers of exclusively breastfed newborn infants were recruited in Kampong Thom, Cambodia. At 2 weeks postnatal, women (n = 335) were randomized to one of four treatment groups to consume one capsule/day with varying amounts of thiamine for 22 weeks: 0, 1.2, 2.4, and 10 mg. At 2, 12, 24, and 52 weeks of age, infants were assessed with the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) and the Caregiver Reported Early Development Instrument (CREDI). Multiple regression and mixed effects modeling suggest that by 6 months of age, the highest maternal thiamine dose (10 mg/day) held significant benefits for infants' language development, but generally not for motor or visual reception development. Despite having achieved standardized scores on the MSEL that approximated U.S. norms by 6 months, infants showed a significant drop relative to these norms in both language domains following trial completion, indicating that nutritional interventions beyond 6 months may be necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14610DOI Listing
August 2021

Low-dose thiamine supplementation of lactating Cambodian mothers improves human milk thiamine concentrations: a randomized controlled trial.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 07;114(1):90-100

Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS Canada.

Background: Infantile beriberi-related mortality is still common in South and Southeast Asia. Interventions to increase maternal thiamine intakes, and thus human milk thiamine, are warranted; however, the required dose remains unknown.

Objectives: We sought to estimate the dose at which additional maternal intake of oral thiamine no longer meaningfully increased milk thiamine concentrations in infants at 24 wk postpartum, and to investigate the impact of 4 thiamine supplementation doses on milk and blood thiamine status biomarkers.

Methods: In this double-blind, 4-parallel arm randomized controlled dose-response trial, healthy mothers were recruited in Kampong Thom, Cambodia. At 2 wk postpartum, women were randomly assigned to consume 1 capsule, containing 0, 1.2 (estimated average requirement), 2.4, or 10 mg of thiamine daily from 2 through 24 weeks postpartum. Human milk total thiamine concentrations were measured using HPLC. An Emax curve was plotted, which was estimated using a nonlinear least squares model in an intention-to-treat analysis. Linear mixed-effects models were used to test for differences between treatment groups. Maternal and infant blood thiamine biomarkers were also assessed.

Results: In total, each of 335 women was randomly assigned to1 of the following thiamine-dose groups: placebo (n = 83), 1.2 mg (n = 86), 2.4 mg (n = 81), and 10 mg (n = 85). The estimated dose required to reach 90% of the maximum average total thiamine concentration in human milk (191 µg/L) is 2.35 (95% CI: 0.58, 7.01) mg/d. The mean ± SD milk thiamine concentrations were significantly higher in all intervention groups (183 ± 91, 190 ± 105, and 206 ± 89 µg/L for 1.2, 2.4, and 10 mg, respectively) compared with the placebo group (153 ± 85 µg/L; P < 0.0001) and did not significantly differ from each other.

Conclusions: A supplemental thiamine dose of 2.35 mg/d was required to achieve a milk total thiamine concentration of 191 µg/L. However, 1.2 mg/d for 22 wk was sufficient to increase milk thiamine concentrations to similar levels achieved by higher supplementation doses (2.4 and 10 mg/d), and comparable to those of healthy mothers in regions without beriberi. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03616288.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246599PMC
July 2021

Infant feeding experiences and concerns among caregivers early in the COVID-19 State of Emergency in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Matern Child Nutr 2021 07 22;17(3):e13154. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The global emergency caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted access to goods and services such as health care and social supports, but the impact on infant feeding remains unclear. Thus, the objective of this study was to explore how caregivers of infants under 6 months of age perceived changes to infant feeding and other food and health-related matters during the COVID-19 State of Emergency in Nova Scotia, Canada. Four weeks after the State of Emergency began, between 17 April and 15 May 2020, caregivers completed this online survey, including the Perceived Stress Scale. Participants (n = 335) were 99% female and mostly White (87%). Over half (60%) were breastfeeding, and 71% had a household income over CAD$60,000. Most participants (77%) received governmental parental benefits before the emergency, and 59% experienced no COVID-19-related economic changes. Over three quarters of participants (77%) scored moderate levels of perceived stress. Common themes of concern included social isolation, COVID-19 infection (both caregiver and infant), and a lack of access to goods, namely, human milk substitutes ('infant formula'), and services, including health care, lactation support, and social supports. Most COVID-19-related information was sought from the internet and social media, so for broad reach, future evidence-based information should be shared via online platforms. Although participants were experiencing moderate self-perceived stress and shared numerous concerns, very few COVID-19-related changes to infant feeding were reported, and there were few differences by socio-economic status, likely due to a strong economic safety net in this Canadian setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mcn.13154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7995067PMC
July 2021

Thiamine fortification strategies in low- and middle-income settings: a review.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2021 08 26;1498(1):29-45. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

SAHMRI Women and Kids, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Thiamine (vitamin B ) is an essential micronutrient in energy metabolism and cognitive and neurological health. Thiamine deficiency disorders (TDDs) have a range of clinical presentations that result in various morbidities and can be fatal if not promptly recognized and treated, especially in infants. To intervene, thiamine intakes by breastfeeding mothers and others at risk of thiamine deficiency should be increased to ensure adequate thiamine intake. Although thiamine fortification programs have a long history in high-income countries, there are few mandatory fortification programs to address TDDs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), particularly in the regions of greatest concern, South and Southeast Asia. This review highlights essential aspects for consideration in the development of a mandatory fortification program in LMICs, including an overview of the data required to model fortification dosing schemes, available thiamine fortificants, and potential fortification vehicles, as well as identifies current knowledge gaps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14565DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8451796PMC
August 2021

Modeling thiamine fortification: a case study from Kuria atoll, Republic of Kiribati.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2021 08 12;1498(1):108-115. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

In 2014, there was an outbreak of beriberi on Kuria, a remote atoll in Kiribati, a small Pacific Island nation. A thiamine-poor diet consisting mainly of rice, sugar, and small amounts of fortified flour was likely to blame. We aimed to design a food fortification strategy to improve thiamine intakes in Kuria. We surveyed all 104 households on Kuria with a pregnant woman or a child 0-59 months. Repeat 24-h dietary recalls were collected from 90 men, 17 pregnant, 44 lactating, and 41 other women of reproductive age. The prevalence of inadequate thiamine intakes was >30% in all groups. Dietary modeling predicted that rice or sugar fortified at a rate of 0.3 and 1.4 mg per 100 g, respectively, would reduce the prevalence of inadequate thiamine intakes to <2.5% in all groups. Fortification is challenging because Kiribati imports food from several countries, depending on price and availability. One exception is flour, which is imported from Fiji. Although resulting in less coverage than rice or sugar, fortifying wheat flour with an additional 3.7 mg per 100 g would reduce the prevalence of inadequacy to under 10%. Kiribati is small and has limited resources; thus, a regional approach to thiamine fortification is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14561DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8451779PMC
August 2021

Assessment of salt intake to consider salt as a fortification vehicle for thiamine in Cambodia.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2021 08 7;1498(1):85-95. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Thiamine deficiency is a public health issue in Cambodia. Thiamine fortification of salt has been proposed; however, the salt intake of lactating women, the target population, is currently unknown. We estimated salt intakes among lactating women (<6 months postpartum) using three methods: repeat observed-weighed intake records and 24-h urinary sodium excretions (n = 104), and household salt disappearance (n = 331). Usual salt intake was estimated by adjusting for intraindividual intakes using the National Cancer Institute method, and a thiamine salt fortification scenario was modeled using a modified estimated average requirement (EAR) cut-point method. Unadjusted salt intake from observed intakes was 9.3 (8.3-10.3) g/day, which was not different from estimated salt intake from urinary sodium excretions, 9.0 (8.4-9.7) g/day (P = 0.3). Estimated salt use from household salt disappearance was 11.3 (10.7-11.9) g/person/day. Usual (adjusted) salt intake from all sources was 7.7 (7.4-8.0) g/day. Assuming no stability losses, a modeled fortification dose of 275 mg thiamine/kg salt could increase thiamine intakes from fortified salt to 2.1 (2.0-2.2) mg/day, with even low salt consumers reaching the EAR of 1.2 mg/day from fortified salt alone. These findings, in conjunction with future sensory and stability research, can inform a potential salt fortification program in Cambodia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14562DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8451827PMC
August 2021

Micronutrient intake and prevalence of micronutrient inadequacy among women (15-49 y) and children (6-59 mo) in South Kivu and Kongo Central, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

PLoS One 2020 12;15(6):e0223393. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Division of Healthy Mothers, Babies & Children, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Iron biofortified beans and carotenoid enriched cassava are proposed as a solution to combat iron and vitamin A deficiencies, respectively, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). To inform the need for biofortified foods, we conducted a survey in 2014 in two provinces of the DRC, South Kivu and Kongo Central. Unexpectedly, women of reproductive age (WRA; 15-49 y) and their children (6-59 m) had a low prevalence of biochemical iron and vitamin A deficiency, based on ferritin and retinol binding protein, respectively. To better understand the lack of biochemical deficiency of these nutrients, we examined the prevalence of inadequate intake for these and other select nutrients. Dietary intake was assessed using 24-hour recalls among 744 mother-child dyads. Repeat recalls on a non-consecutive day were conducted with a subsample of the study population to account for intra-individual variation and estimate usual intake. In WRA, the prevalence of inadequate iron intakes were 33% and 29% in South Kivu and Kongo Central, respecitvely. The prevalence of inadequate vitamin A intakes among WRA was low in South Kivu (18%) and negligible in Kongo Central (1%). Iron inadequacy was highest in infants (6-11 m) at 82% and 64% in South Kivu and Kongo Central, respectively. Among older children (12-59 m) in both provinces, the prevalence of iron inadequacy was similar at ~20%. There was a high prevalence of inadequate zinc intake in women and children (i.e. 79-86% among WRA and 56-91% among children 6-59 m) consistent with our findings of a high prevalence of low serum zinc in the same sample. Dietary data here corroborate the low prevalence of biochemical vitamin A deficiency but not iron. However, any change to the supply of red palm oil (primary source of vitamin A) would dramatically reduce population vitamin A intakes, thus a carotenoid enriched cassava program may be beneficial as a safety net measure. Crops biofortified with zinc also appear warranted. We caution that our findings cannot be extrapolated to the entire Congo where diverse agro-ecological landscape exist or when political and environmental shocks occur which challenge food production.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0223393PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292409PMC
August 2020

The Homozygous Hemoglobin EE Variant Is Associated with Poorer Riboflavin Status in Cambodian Women of Reproductive Age.

J Nutr 2020 07;150(7):1943-1950

Department of Food, Nutrition and Health, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Background: Riboflavin is required for erythropoiesis, which is increased in people with hemoglobinopathies due to increased hemolysis and erythrocyte turnover. Dietary intake and status of riboflavin is poor in Cambodia, where hemoglobinopathies are common.

Objective: We assessed the association between genetic hemoglobin disorders and riboflavin status in women of reproductive age in Cambodia.

Methods: Venous blood samples from 515 Cambodian women of reproductive age, 18-45 y, were analyzed for biomarker status of riboflavin [erythrocyte glutathione reductase activation coefficient (EGRac)], genetic hemoglobin (Hb) disorders, and hematological indices. Linear regression analysis was used to estimate the association between EGRac with Hb, ferritin, and Hb genotypes. EGRac was log transformed in the analyses, and the regression coefficients represent the geometric mean differences.

Results: Genetic Hb disorders were present in 57% of the population, with the homozygous hemoglobin E variant (Hb EE) occurring in ∼10% of women (n = 53). Deficient (EGRac ≥1.40) or marginal riboflavin status (EGRac ≥1.30 and <1.40) was observed in 92% (n = 475) of women. The variant Hb EE genotype was associated with 18% (95% CI: 9%, 28%) higher geometric mean EGRac values than the normal Hb AA genotype (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Although riboflavin biomarker deficiency or marginal status is widely prevalent in Cambodian women, lower riboflavin status was observed more frequently in women with the Hb EE genotype than in women with normal Hb AA. The relation between genetic Hb disorders and riboflavin warrants further investigation. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01593423 and NCT02481375.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxaa119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7330481PMC
July 2020

Interpretation of vitamin B-12 and folate concentrations in population-based surveys does not require adjustment for inflammation: Biomarkers Reflecting Inflammation and Nutritional Determinants of Anemia (BRINDA) project.

Am J Clin Nutr 2020 04;111(4):919-926

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: Vitamin B-12 and folate deficiencies in women and children have important public health implications. However, the evidence is conflicting and limited on whether the influence of inflammation on biomarker concentrations may be sufficiently and consistently influenced by inflammation to require adjustment for interpreting concentrations or estimating population prevalence of deficiencies.

Objective: We examined correlations between concentrations of the inflammation biomarkers C-reactive protein (CRP) and α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and serum vitamin B-12 and serum and RBC folate among nonpregnant women of reproductive age (WRA; 15-49 yr) and preschool children (PSC; 6-59 mo).

Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional data from 16 nationally representative nutrition surveys conducted in WRA (n = 32,588) and PSC (n = 8,256) from the Biomarkers Reflecting Inflammation and Nutritional Determinants of Anemia project. Spearman correlations between CRP or AGP and vitamin B-12 or folate concentrations were examined, taking into account complex survey design effects.

Results: Correlations between inflammation and vitamin B-12 or folate were weak, with no clear pattern of association in either WRA or PSC. Correlation coefficients between CRP and vitamin B-12 for WRA and PSC ranged from -0.25 to 0.16, and correlations between AGP and vitamin B-12 ranged between -0.07 and 0.14. Similarly, correlations between CRP and serum folate ranged from -0.13 to 0.08, and correlations between AGP and serum folate between -0.21 and 0.02. Only 3 surveys measured RBC folate, and among them, correlations for WRA ranged from -0.07 to 0.08 for CRP and -0.04 for AGP (1 country).

Conclusions: Based on the weak and inconsistent correlations between CRP or AGP and vitamin B-12 or folate biomarkers, there is no rationale to adjust for inflammation when estimating population prevalence of vitamin B-12 or folate deficiencies in WRA or PSC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqz303DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7138687PMC
April 2020

Macro- and Micronutrients in Milk from Healthy Cambodian Mothers: Status and Interrelations.

J Nutr 2020 06;150(6):1461-1469

USDA/ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA.

Background: Except for low thiamin content, little is known about vitamins or macronutrients in milk from Cambodian mothers, and associations among milk nutrients.

Objectives: We measured fat-soluble vitamins (FSVs) and water-soluble vitamins (WSVs), and macronutrients, and explored internutrient associations in milk from Cambodian mothers.

Methods: Milk from women (aged 18-45 y, 3-27 wk postpartum, n = 68) who participated in a thiamin-fortification trial were analyzed for vitamins B-2 (riboflavin, FAD), B-3 (nicotinamide), B-5, B-6 (pyridoxal, pyridoxine), B-7, B-12, A, E [α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol (γ-TPH)], carotenoids, carbohydrate (CHO), fat, and protein. Milk vitamin B-1 [thiamin, thiamin monophosphate (TMP), thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP)] was previously assessed for fortification effects. Milk nutrient concentrations were compared with the Adequate Intake (AI) values for infants aged 0-6 mo. Pearson correlation was used to examine internutrient associations after excluding nutrients affected by fortification.

Results: Fortification increased thiamin and B-1 and decreased γ-TPH. Less than 40% of milk samples met the AIs for all vitamins, and 10 samples did not reach any AI values for the analyzed nutrients. CHO, fat, and energy values were met in 1.5-11.8%, and protein in 48.5%, of the samples. Whereas fat, protein, and energy were related (all r < 0.5; P < 0.001) and associated with FSVs and WSVs, CHO correlated only with some WSVs. TPP was not correlated with B-1 vitamers, but with other WSVs (r = 0.28-0.58; P < 0.019). All FSVs, except α-carotene, were correlated with each other (r = 0.42-0.98; P < 0.002). TPP, FAD, B-2, and B-3 were associated with almost all FSVs (r = 0.24-0.63; P < 0.044).

Conclusions: Cambodian women might not provide sufficient nutrients to their exclusively breastfeeding infants. Besides thiamin, all other vitamins measured were much lower than the AI. There were many strong correlations among macronutrients and vitamins; the extent to which these are explained by maternal diet, milk volume, maternal physiology, or genetics requires additional exploration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxaa070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7269724PMC
June 2020

In-Hospital Feeding Practices of Infants Born to Mothers With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Evaluating Policy Implementation Effectiveness.

Can J Diabetes 2019 Dec 30;43(8):580-586. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Departments of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Electronic address:

Objectives: Women with diabetes in pregnancy may experience unique breastfeeding challenges. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of hospital policy to support breastfeeding in this patient population. This study aimed 1) to describe infant feeding practices of mother-infant pairs with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or type 2 diabetes in pregnancy before and after introduction of an in-hospital policy and, 2) to compare feeding practices before and after policy introduction.

Methods: A retrospective chart audit of mother-infant pairs (n=120) was performed: 60 at 1 year before and 60 after policy introduction. The primary outcome was provision of breast milk at discharge; a chi-square test was completed to compare pre- and postpolicy groups. Secondary outcomes included participant and infant feeding characteristics.

Results: There was no significant difference in the number of infants receiving breast milk at discharge between pre- (58% [35 of 60]) and postpolicy (58% [35 of 60]) groups (p=0.64). The number of infants receiving breast milk exclusively throughout the hospital stay also did not differ by group (37% [22 of 60] before; and 43% [26 of 60] after; p=0.39). Information for each feed was infrequently recorded in charts for the method of feeding (34% [704 of 2,064]), infant state (96% [1,991 of 2,064]) and feeding description (96% [1,987 of 2,064]).

Conclusions: This practice-based research has highlighted a need for continuation of this work, examining an in-hospital policy to support breastfeeding in those with GDM or type 2 diabetes in pregnancy. Initially, feedback could be collected from health-care providers to understand perceived facilitators and barriers to policy application and the use of job aids (e.g. record keeping tools).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcjd.2019.10.008DOI Listing
December 2019

High confidence, yet poor knowledge of infant feeding recommendations among adults in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Matern Child Nutr 2020 04 27;16(2):e12903. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

In Canada, adherence to the national 'Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants' recommendations of infant and young child feeding (IYCF; 0-24 months) is suboptimal. While maternal knowledge of IYCF is commonly assessed, that of the general public has rarely been explored. Our objective was to assess the knowledge of, and confidence in answers to, Canadian IYCF recommendations among a diverse sample of adults in Nova Scotia, Canada. Between March and May 2018, a self-administered questionnaire examining IYCF knowledge, self-rated confidence, and sociodemographic information was conducted among Nova Scotians (≥19 years) in public locations. We surveyed 229 adults; 60% (n=134) were women. Mean (95% CI) age was 44 (41,46) years, 73% self-identified as white, 77% were born in Canada, and 69% were parents. Knowledge deficits were: age to terminate breastfeeding (18.3 (16.7,19.9) months; recommendation: ≥24 months), age to introduce solids (9.2 (8.2,10.2) months; recommendation: 6 months), vitamin D supplementation (10% correct), and optimal complementary foods (only 37% indicated iron-rich foods). Correct IYCF knowledge was lower among men, non-parents, young adults (19-29 years) and low-income adults (<$50,000/year). Mean self-rated confidence (out of 10) was high (7.2 (6.9,7.5)), and not different (p>0.05) between correct and incorrect responses for: best food for a newborn, age to terminate any breastfeeding, and age to start family meal foods. We found low knowledge of IYCF guidelines, yet high confidence in responses regardless of accuracy, among adults in Nova Scotia. General public knowledge deficits may contribute to an unsupportive culture around IYCF practices and low adherence to current recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12903DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7083488PMC
April 2020

Exploring Breastfeeding Knowledge and Attitudes among Noncaregivers: A Narrative Review.

Can J Diet Pract Res 2020 06 18;81(2):97-104. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS.

Exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years and beyond are well-established infant feeding recommendations based on evidence that breastfeeding has unparalleled maternal and infant health benefits as well as environmental and economic benefits. As with many high-income countries, breastfeeding rates remain suboptimal with only a quarter of Canadian and European infants receiving breast milk exclusively for the first 6 months. Breastfeeding promotion efforts have largely targeted caregivers in the prenatal and postnatal period; however, breastfeeding outcomes have been shown to be associated with broader sociocultural factors. Noncaregivers play an influential role in infant feeding at both an individual level (e.g., cues and input from health care practitioners and caregivers' social networks; as future parents) as well as a broader population level (sociocultural norms and policy decisions). This paper outlines recent research on breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes of noncaregivers by population subgroup. Positive correlations have been identified between breastfeeding attitudes, infant feeding knowledge, breastfeeding exposure, and breastfeeding intention among different subgroups; however, key knowledge gaps, lack of exposure to breastfeeding, and negative public perceptions of breastfeeding persist. Dietitians can advocate for breastfeeding promotion strategies that consider the role of noncaregivers to address sociocultural norms around breastfeeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3148/cjdpr-2019-029DOI Listing
June 2020

Thiamine dose response in human milk with supplementation among lactating women in Cambodia: study protocol for a double-blind, four-parallel arm randomised controlled trial.

BMJ Open 2019 07 9;9(7):e029255. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Introduction: Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency remains a concern in Cambodia where women with low thiamine intake produce thiamine-poor milk, putting their breastfed infants at risk of impaired cognitive development and potentially fatal infantile beriberi. Thiamine fortification of salt is a potentially low-cost, passive means of combating thiamine deficiency; however, both the dose of thiamine required to optimise milk thiamine concentrations as well as usual salt intake of lactating women are unknown.

Methods And Analysis: In this community-based randomised controlled trial, 320 lactating women from Kampong Thom, Cambodia will be randomised to one of four groups to consume one capsule daily containing 0, 1.2, 2.4 or 10 mg thiamine as thiamine hydrochloride, between 2 and 24 weeks postnatal. The primary objective is to estimate the dose where additional maternal intake of thiamine no longer meaningfully increases infant thiamine diphosphate concentrations 24 weeks postnatally. At 2, 12 and 24 weeks, we will collect sociodemographic, nutrition and health information, a battery of cognitive assessments, maternal (2 and 24 weeks) and infant (24 weeks only) venous blood samples (biomarkers: ThDP and transketolase activity) and human milk samples (also at 4 weeks; biomarker: milk thiamine concentrations). All participants and their families will consume study-provided salt throughout the trial, and we will measure salt disappearance each fortnight. Repeat weighed salt intakes and urinary sodium concentrations will be measured among a subset of 100 participants. Parameters of E dose-response curves will be estimated using non-linear least squares models with both 'intention to treat' and a secondary 'per-protocol' (capsule compliance ≥80%) analyses.

Ethics And Dissemination: Ethical approval was obtained in Cambodia (National Ethics Committee for Health Research 112/250NECHR), Canada (Mount Saint Vincent University Research Ethics Board 2017-141) and the USA (University of Oregon Institutional Review Board 07052018.008). Results will be shared with participants' communities, as well as relevant government and scientific stakeholders via presentations, academic manuscripts and consultations.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03616288.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029255DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6624064PMC
July 2019

Exploration of Responsive Feeding During Breastfeeding Versus Bottle Feeding of Human Milk: A Within-Subject Pilot Study.

Breastfeed Med 2019 09 12;14(7):482-486. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Department of Kinesiology and Public Health, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California.

Responsive feeding promotes optimal feeding patterns and growth trajectories. Breastfeeding is thought to facilitate responsive feeding, but research to date has been limited to comparing formula-feeding and breastfeeding dyads. Using a within-subject approach, we aimed to assess maternal responsiveness to infant cues during two human milk feeding sessions differing by feeding modality (breastfeeding versus bottle feeding). Nine mother-infant dyads (infants ≤6 months) were recruited from the Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, from April to May 2018. Two human milk-feeding sessions, directly from the breast and from a bottle, were video-recorded in participants' homes, then scored using the validated Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training (NCAST) Caregiver/Parent-Child Interaction Feeding Scale. The second half of feeding sessions were coded for infant satiation cues. All women earned a college degree or higher, and were partnered. Mothers were aged mean ± standard deviation 33.2 ± 4.0 years; infants were 14.6 ± 6.9 weeks old and six (67%) were female. Mothers were more sensitive to infant cues during breastfeeding (NCAST Maternal Sensitivity to Cues sub-scale score, 15.0 ± 1.0) than bottle feeding (13.4 ± 1.6;  = 0.016). There was a significantly longer latency from feeding session midpoint to the first satiation cue during breastfeeding (minutes:seconds; 3:00 ± 1:53 versus 0:45 ± 1:18 bottle feeding,  = 0.038). There was no difference in the number of infant cues by feeding modality. Despite the small sample with high socioeconomic status, this pilot study highlights differences in maternal responsiveness to infant cues by feeding modality with human milk, which warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2019.0069DOI Listing
September 2019

Integrating nutrition outcomes into agriculture development for impact at scale: Highlights from the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund.

Matern Child Nutr 2019 05;15 Suppl 3:e12812

Department of Pediatrics and Reproductive Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

The Canadian International Food Security Research Fund programme supported research and scaling up of nutrition- and gender-sensitive agriculture innovations from 2009 to 2018. Women and girls were identified as agents of change and were targeted as the main programme beneficiaries. Projects were implemented in 25 countries through multistakeholder partnerships among universities, research institutions, public and private sectors, and civil society groups, reaching over 78 million people, mainly women and children. Approaches specific to nutrition included growing more nutritious crops, improving dietary diversity, value added processing, food fortification, and nutrition education. Scale-up for impact was achieved through a number of pathways that started with evidence through rigorous research, followed by a combination of elements such as understanding local and regional contexts to identify specific bottlenecks and opportunities for the deployment and adoption of successful innovations, selecting politically effective or influential partners to lead the scaling up process, and investing in long-term local capacity and leadership building. Overall, the knowledge generated in the programme indicate that well-designed nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food-based interventions can have meaningful impacts on pathways that will lead to better health and well-being of women and children through improving household and individual access to nutrient-rich foods. Longer intervention times are needed to demonstrate changes in health indicators such as reduced stunting. This overview paper summarises the programme and showcases examples from studies that demonstrate the impact pathway for nutrition interventions that encompass efficacy and effectiveness studies, value-added processing, cost effectiveness of interventions, and bringing a proven intervention to scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12812DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6593440PMC
May 2019

Effect of enhanced homestead food production on anaemia among Cambodian women and children: A cluster randomized controlled trial.

Matern Child Nutr 2019 05;15 Suppl 3:e12757

Food, Nutrition and Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

There is inconsistent evidence on the efficacy of agriculture programmes at improving women and children's anaemia and nutritional status. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a nutrition-sensitive enhanced homestead food production (EHFP) programme on anaemia in women (18-45 years) and children (6-59 months) in rural Cambodia. Secondary outcomes were women's micronutrient status and women and children's anthropometry. In this cluster-randomized controlled trial, 900 households from 90 villages (clusters) were randomized to either (a) home gardens and behaviour change communication (BCC) on nutrition, hygiene, women's empowerment, and marketing (EHFP); (b) home gardens plus fishponds and BCC (EHFP + F); or (c) control (no intervention). Haemoglobin concentration and anthropometry were measured in women and children at baseline and at 22 months. Venous blood samples were collected in a subset of women (n = 450) at baseline and at 22 months. Generalized linear mixed effect models with repeated measures were used to evaluate the difference across groups and the change from baseline to end of study. Ninety clusters, 552 women, and 754 children completed the trial. Compared with control, we found a statistically significant impact on anaemia prevalence in children (-14.0 percentage points; P = 0.02) and retinol binding protein concentrations in women (difference in difference: 0.34; P = 0.02) randomized to EHFP and EHFP + F groups, respectively. No other statistically significant effects on anaemia, nutritional biomarker concentrations, or anthropometry were observed. Future research is needed to examine longer term impacts of EHFP on anthropometry in women and children and into the nutritional causes of anaemia among children in Cambodia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12757DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6593652PMC
May 2019

Adequate vitamin B and riboflavin status from menus alone in residential care facilities in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2019 Apr 24;44(4):414-419. Epub 2018 Sep 24.

h Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children Theme, South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia.

Older adults have potential increased risk of nutrient deficiencies because of age-related decreased dietary intake and malabsorption; it is important to ensure nutrient needs are met to avoid adverse health outcomes. B vitamins are of particular interest: vitamin B deficiency can cause irreversible neurodegeneration; there is mandatory folic acid fortification in Canada; and suboptimal riboflavin status has been reported among older adults in the United Kingdom. In this exploratory secondary analysis study we assessed vitamin B and riboflavin biochemical status (via microparticle enzyme immunoassay and erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity coefficient (EGRac), respectively), and the vitamin B, riboflavin, and folate content of menus served to a convenience sample of older adults (≥65 years) from 5 residential care facilities within the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Diet was assessed from customized 28-day cycle meal plans. Participants (n = 207; 53 men and 154 women) were aged 86 ± 7 years, largely of European descent (92%), and nonsmokers (95%). The menus served had a low prevalence of inadequacy for vitamin B and riboflavin (only 4% and 1% of menus contained less than the estimated average requirement (EAR), respectively), but 93% contained less than the EAR for folate. Mean ± SD serum total vitamin B concentration was 422 ± 209 pmol/L, and EGRac was 1.30 ± 0.19. The majority of older adults in residential care were provided with adequate vitamin B and riboflavin menu amounts, and only 5% were vitamin B deficient (<148 pmol/L). However, 26% were riboflavin deficient (EGRac ≥ 1.4), which may warrant further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2018-0459DOI Listing
April 2019

Thiamine deficiency disorders: diagnosis, prevalence, and a roadmap for global control programs.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 10 27;1430(1):3-43. Epub 2018 Aug 27.

Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Thiamine is an essential micronutrient that plays a key role in energy metabolism. Many populations worldwide may be at risk of clinical or subclinical thiamine deficiencies, due to famine, reliance on staple crops with low thiamine content, or food preparation practices, such as milling grains and washing milled rice. Clinical manifestations of thiamine deficiency are variable; this, along with the lack of a readily accessible and widely agreed upon biomarker of thiamine status, complicates efforts to diagnose thiamine deficiency and assess its global prevalence. Strategies to identify regions at risk of thiamine deficiency through proxy measures, such as analysis of food balance sheet data and month-specific infant mortality rates, may be valuable for understanding the scope of thiamine deficiency. Urgent public health responses are warranted in high-risk regions, considering the contribution of thiamine deficiency to infant mortality and research suggesting that even subclinical thiamine deficiency in childhood may have lifelong neurodevelopmental consequences. Food fortification and maternal and/or infant thiamine supplementation have proven effective in raising thiamine status and reducing the incidence of infantile beriberi in regions where thiamine deficiency is prevalent, but trial data are limited. Efforts to determine culturally and environmentally appropriate food vehicles for thiamine fortification are ongoing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13919DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6392124PMC
October 2018

Comparison of Human Milk Fatty Acid Composition of Women From Cambodia and Australia.

J Hum Lact 2018 08 14;34(3):585-591. Epub 2018 May 14.

1 School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, University of Adelaide, Urrbrae, SA, Australia.

Background: Human milk is a rich source of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are postulated to be important for brain development. There is a lack of data on the human milk fatty acid composition of Cambodian women compared with data from Western women. Research Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the human milk fatty acid composition of women living in Cambodia and compare it with that of women living in Australia.

Method: Human milk samples from Cambodian ( n = 67) and Australian ( n = 200) mothers were collected at 3 to 4 months postpartum. Fatty acid composition was analyzed using capillary gas chromatography followed by Folch extraction with chloroform/methanol (2:1 v/v), and fat content was measured gravimetrically.

Result: Compared with Australian participants, human milk from Cambodian participants contained a significantly lower level of total fat (2.90 vs. 3.45 g/dL, p = .028), lower percentages of linoleic acid (9.30% vs. 10.66%, p < .0001) and α-linolenic acid (0.42% vs. 0.95%, p < .0001), but higher percentages of arachidonic acid (0.68% vs. 0.38%, p < .0001) and docosahexaenoic acid (0.40% vs. 0.23%, p < .0001).

Conclusion: Differences in human milk fatty acid composition between Cambodian and Australian participants may be explained by differences in the dietary patterns between the two populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0890334418772279DOI Listing
August 2018

Concentrations of Water-Soluble Forms of Choline in Human Milk from Lactating Women in Canada and Cambodia.

Nutrients 2018 Mar 20;10(3). Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Food, Nutrition, and Health Program, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.

Choline has critical roles during periods of rapid growth and development, such as infancy. In human milk, choline is mostly present in water-soluble forms (free choline, phosphocholine, and glycerophosphocholine). It is thought that milk choline concentration is influenced by maternal choline intake, and the richest food sources for choline are of animal origin. Scarce information exists on milk choline from countries differing in animal-source food availability. In this secondary analysis of samples from previous trials, the concentrations of the water-soluble forms of choline were quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in mature milk samples collected from lactating women in Canada ( = 301) and in Cambodia ( = 67). None of the water-soluble forms of choline concentrations in milk differed between Canada and Cambodia. For all milk samples ( = 368), free choline, phosphocholine, glycerophosphocholine, and the sum of water-soluble forms of choline concentrations in milk were (mean (95%CI)) 151 (141, 160, 540 (519, 562), 411 (396, 427), and 1102 (1072, 1133) µmol/L, respectively. Theoretically, only 19% of infants would meet the current Adequate Intake (AI) for choline. Our findings suggest that the concentrations in milk of water-soluble forms of choline are similar in Canada and Cambodia, and that the concentration used to set the infant AI might be inaccurate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu10030381DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872799PMC
March 2018

High prevalence of thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency in early childhood among a nationally representative sample of Cambodian women of childbearing age and their children.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2017 Sep 5;11(9):e0005814. Epub 2017 Sep 5.

Institute of Research for Development (IRD), UMR-204, IRD-UM-SupAgro, Montpellier, France.

Background: Thiamine deficiency is thought to be an issue in Cambodia and throughout Southeast Asia due to frequent clinical reports of infantile beriberi. However the extent of this public health issue is currently unknown due to a lack of population-representative data. Therefore we assessed the thiamine status (measured as erythrocyte thiamine diphosphate concentrations; eThDP) among a representative sample of Cambodian women of childbearing age (15-49 y) and their young children (6-69 mo).

Methodology/principle Findings: Samples for this cross-sectional analysis were collected as part of a national micronutrient survey linked to the Cambodian Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS) 2014. One-sixth of households taking part in the CDHS were randomly selected and re-visited for additional blood sampling for eThDP analysis (719 women and 761 children). Thiamine status was assessed using different cut-offs from literature. Women were mean (SD) 30 (6) y, and children (46% girls) were 41 (17) mo. Women had lower mean (95% CI) eThDP of 150 nmol/L (146-153) compared to children, 174 nmol/L (171-179; P < 0.001). Using the most conservative cut-off of eThDP < 120 nmol/L, 27% of mothers and 15% of children were thiamine deficient, however prevalence rates of deficiency were as high as 78% for mothers and 58% for children using a cut-off of < 180 nmol/L. Thiamine deficiency was especially prevalent among infants aged 6-12 mo: 38% were deficient using the most conservative cut-off (< 120 nmol/L).

Conclusions/significance: There is a lack of consensus on thiamine status cut-offs; more research is required to set clinically meaningful cut-offs. Despite this, there is strong evidence of suboptimal thiamine status among Cambodian mothers and their children, with infants <12 mo at the highest risk. Based on eThDP from this nationally-representative sample, immediate action is required to address thiamine deficiency in Cambodia, and likely throughout Southeast Asia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5600402PMC
September 2017

Comparable Performance Characteristics of Plasma Thiamine and Erythrocyte Thiamine Diphosphate in Response to Thiamine Fortification in Rural Cambodian Women.

Nutrients 2017 Jun 29;9(7). Epub 2017 Jun 29.

Food, Nutrition, and Health, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.

: Traditionally, vitamin B₁ status is assessed by a functional test measuring erythrocyte transketolase (ETK) activity or direct measurement of erythrocyte thiamine diphosphate (eThDP) concentration. However, such analyses are logistically challenging, and do not allow assessment of vitamin B₁ status in plasma/serum samples stored in biobanks. Using a multiplex assay, we evaluated plasma concentrations of thiamine and thiamine monophosphate (TMP), as alternative, convenient measures of vitamin B₁ status. : We investigated the relationships between the established biomarker eThDP and plasma concentrations of thiamine and TMP, and compared the response of these thiamine forms to thiamine fortification using samples from 196 healthy Cambodian women (aged 18-45 years.). eThDP was measured by high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD) and plasma thiamine and TMP by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). : Plasma thiamine and TMP correlated significantly with eThDP at baseline and study-end ( < 0.05). Among the fortification groups, the strongest response was observed for plasma thiamine (increased by 266%), while increases in plasma TMP (60%) and eThDP (53%) were comparable. : Plasma thiamine and TMP correlated positively with eThDP, and all thiamine forms responded significantly to thiamine intervention. Measuring plasma concentrations of thiamine forms is advantageous due to convenient sample handling and capacity to develop low volume, high-throughput, multiplex assays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9070676DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537791PMC
June 2017

Randomized controlled trial assessing the efficacy of a reusable fish-shaped iron ingot to increase hemoglobin concentration in anemic, rural Cambodian women.

Am J Clin Nutr 2017 Aug 14;106(2):667-674. Epub 2017 Jun 14.

Food, Nutrition and Health, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada;

Anemia affects 45% of women of childbearing age in Cambodia. Iron supplementation is recommended in populations in which anemia prevalence is high. However, there are issues of cost, distribution, and adherence. A potential alternative is a reusable fish-shaped iron ingot, which, when added to the cooking pot, leaches iron into the fluid in which it is prepared. We sought to determine whether there was a difference in hemoglobin concentrations in rural Cambodian anemic women (aged 18-49 y) who cooked with the iron ingot or consumed a daily iron supplement compared with a control after 1 y. In Preah Vihear, 340 women with mild or moderate anemia were randomly assigned to ) an iron-ingot group, ) an iron-supplement (18 mg/d) group, or ) a nonplacebo control group. A venous blood sample was taken at baseline and at 6 and 12 mo. Blood was analyzed for hemoglobin, serum ferritin, and serum transferrin receptor. Hemoglobin electrophoresis was used to detect structural hemoglobin variants. Anemia prevalence was 44% with the use of a portable hemoglobinometer during screening. At baseline, prevalence of iron deficiency was 9% on the basis of a low serum ferritin concentration. There was no significant difference in mean hemoglobin concentrations between the iron-ingot group (115 g/L; 95% CI: 113, 118 g/L; = 0.850) or iron-supplement group (115 g/L; 95% CI: 113, 117 g/L; = 0.998) compared with the control group (115 g/L; 95% CI: 113, 117 g/L) at 12 mo. Serum ferritin was significantly higher in the iron-supplement group (73 μg/L; 95% CI: 64, 82 μg/L; = 0.002) than in the control group at 6 mo; however, this significance was not maintained at 12 mo (73 μg/L; 95% CI: 58, 91 μg/L; = 0.176). Neither the iron ingot nor iron supplements increased hemoglobin concentrations in this population at 6 or 12 mo. We do not recommend the use of the fish-shaped iron ingot in Cambodia or in countries where the prevalence of iron deficiency is low and genetic hemoglobin disorders are high. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02341586.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.117.152785DOI Listing
August 2017

No Camphor Toxicity in Cambodian Infants.

Glob Pediatr Health 2017 24;4:2333794X17702980. Epub 2017 Apr 24.

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Thiamine deficiency and beriberi are prevalent in Cambodia, although most infants with nonspecific clinical symptoms of beriberi, including tachypnea, lack echocardiographic evidence diagnostic of the disease. Camphor activates transient receptor potential vanilloid 3 (TRPV3), a nonselective ion channel expressed in the medial preoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus and thought to be important for thermo-sensitivity. Because camphorated ointments are used commonly among Cambodian infants, we hypothesized that topical camphor modulates thermoregulatory behaviors, causing beriberi-simulating tachypnea, separate from any influence of thiamine deficiency. We assessed 9 tachypneic and 10 healthy infants for Tiger Balm use and for presence of camphor in whole blood. However, no camphor was found in blood from any infants, indicating that camphor is unrelated to tachypneic illness in Cambodian infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2333794X17702980DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5406147PMC
April 2017

The effect of oral iron with or without multiple micronutrients on hemoglobin concentration and hemoglobin response among nonpregnant Cambodian women of reproductive age: a 2 x 2 factorial, double-blind, randomized controlled supplementation trial.

Am J Clin Nutr 2017 Jul 10;106(1):233-244. Epub 2017 May 10.

Discipline of Paediatrics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia; and

Despite a high prevalence of anemia among nonpregnant Cambodian women, current reports suggest that iron deficiency (ID) prevalence is low. If true, iron supplementation will not be an effective anemia reduction strategy. We measured the effect of daily oral iron with or without multiple micronutrients (MMNs) on hemoglobin concentration in nonpregnant Cambodian women screened as anemic. In this 2 × 2 factorial, double-blind, randomized trial, nonpregnant women (aged 18-45 y) with hemoglobin concentrations ≤117 g/L (capillary blood) were recruited from 26 villages in Kampong Chhnang province and randomly assigned to receive 12 wk of iron (60 mg; Fe group), MMNs (14 other micronutrients; MMN group), iron plus MMNs (Fe+MMN group), or placebo capsules. A 2 × 2 factorial intention-to-treat analysis with the use of a generalized mixed-effects model was used to assess the effects of iron and MMNs and the interaction between these factors. In July 2015, 809 women were recruited and 760 (94%) completed the trial. Baseline anemia prevalence was 58% (venous blood). Mean (95% CI) hemoglobin concentrations at 12 wk in the Fe, MMN, Fe+MMN, and placebo groups were 121 (120, 121), 116 (116, 117), 123 (122, 123), and 116 (116, 117) g/L, with no iron × MMN interaction ( = 0.66). Mean (95% CI) increases in hemoglobin were 5.6 g/L (3.8, 7.4 g/L) ( < 0.001) among women who received iron ( = 407) and 1.2 g/L (-0.6, 3.0 g/L) ( = 0.18) among women who received MMNs ( = 407). The predicted proportions (95% CIs) of women with a hemoglobin response (≥10 g/L at 12 wk) were 19% (14%, 24%), 9% (5%, 12%), 30% (24%, 35%), and 5% (2%, 9%) in the Fe, MMN, Fe+MMN, and placebo groups, respectively. Daily iron supplementation for 12 wk increased hemoglobin in nonpregnant Cambodian women; however, MMNs did not confer additional significant benefit. Overall, ∼24% of women who received iron responded after 12 wk; even fewer would be likely to respond in the wider population. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02481375.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.140996DOI Listing
July 2017

Correlations between Maternal, Breast Milk, and Infant Vitamin B12 Concentrations among Mother-Infant Dyads in Vancouver, Canada and Prey Veng, Cambodia: An Exploratory Analysis.

Nutrients 2017 Mar 12;9(3). Epub 2017 Mar 12.

Food, Nutrition, and Health, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.

Vitamin B12 plays an essential role in fetal and infant development. In regions where animal source food consumption is low and perinatal supplementation is uncommon, infants are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. In this secondary analysis, we measured total vitamin B12 concentrations in maternal and infant serum/plasma and breast milk among two samples of mother-infant dyads in Canada (assessed at 8 weeks post-partum) and in Cambodia (assessed between 3-27 weeks post-partum). Canadian mothers ( = 124) consumed a daily vitamin B12-containing multiple micronutrient supplement throughout pregnancy and lactation; Cambodian mothers ( = 69) were unsupplemented. The maternal, milk, and infant total vitamin B12 concentrations (as geometric means (95% CI) in pmol/L) were as follows: in Canada, 698 (648,747), 452 (400, 504), and 506 (459, 552); in Cambodia, 620 (552, 687), 317 (256, 378), and 357 (312, 402). The majority of participants were vitamin B12 sufficient (serum/plasma total B12 > 221 pmol/L): 99% and 97% of mothers and 94% and 84% of infants in Canada and Cambodia, respectively. Among the Canadians, maternal, milk, and infant vitamin B12 were all correlated ( < 0.05); only maternal and infant vitamin B12 were correlated among the Cambodians ( < 0.001).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9030270DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372933PMC
March 2017

Household Consumption of Thiamin-Fortified Fish Sauce Increases Erythrocyte Thiamin Concentrations among Rural Cambodian Women and Their Children Younger Than 5 Years of Age: A Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial.

J Pediatr 2017 02 7;181:242-247.e2. Epub 2016 Dec 7.

Food Nutrition and Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; Discipline of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Electronic address:

Objectives: To assess whether ad libitum consumption of thiamin-fortified fish sauce over 6 months yields higher erythrocyte thiamin diphosphate concentrations (eTDP) among women of childbearing age and their children aged 12-59 months compared with control sauce containing no thiamin.

Study Design: In this double-blind, randomized controlled efficacy trial, 276 nonpregnant, nonlactating women (18-45 years of age) and their families in Prey Veng, Cambodia, were randomized to receive 1 of 3 fish sauce formulations: low thiamin concentration (low, 2 g/L), high thiamin concentration (high, 8 g/L), or a control (no thiamin) fish sauce. Baseline (t = 0) and endline (t = 6 months) eTDP were measured with the use of high-performance liquid chromatography with a fluorescence detector.

Results: Fish sauce consumption did not differ between treatment groups (P = .19). In intent-to-treat analysis, women's baseline-adjusted endline eTDP (mean; 95% CI) was higher among women in the low (259; 245-274 nmol/L) and high (257; 237-276 nmol/L) groups compared with control (184; 169-198 nmol/L; P < .001); low and high groups did not differ (P = .83). Similarly, children's baseline-adjusted eTDP was higher in the low (259; 246-271 nmol/L) and high (257; 243-270 nmol/L) groups compared with control (213; 202-224 nmol/L; P < .001).

Conclusion: Fortified fish sauce appears to be an efficacious means of improving biochemical thiamin status in nonpregnant, nonlactating women and their children (1-5 years of age) living in rural Cambodia.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02221063.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.10.066DOI Listing
February 2017

Perinatal Consumption of Thiamine-Fortified Fish Sauce in Rural Cambodia: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Pediatr 2016 Oct 3;170(10):e162065. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

Food, Nutrition, and Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada9South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia10Discipline of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Importance: Infantile beriberi, a potentially fatal disease caused by thiamine deficiency, remains a public health concern in Cambodia and regions where thiamine-poor white rice is a staple food. Low maternal thiamine intake reduces breast milk thiamine concentrations, placing breastfed infants at risk of beriberi.

Objective: To determine if consumption of thiamine-fortified fish sauce yields higher erythrocyte thiamine diphosphate concentrations (eTDP) among lactating women and newborn infants and higher breast milk thiamine concentrations compared with a control sauce.

Design, Setting, And Participants: In this double-blind randomized clinical trial, 90 pregnant women were recruited in the Prey Veng province, Cambodia. The study took place between October 2014 and April 2015.

Interventions: Women were randomized to 1 of 3 groups (n = 30) for ad libitum fish sauce consumption for 6 months: control (no thiamine), low-concentration (2 g/L), or high-concentration (8 g/L) fish sauce.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Maternal eTDP was assessed at baseline (October 2014) and endline (April 2015). Secondary outcomes, breast milk thiamine concentration and infant eTDP, were measured at endline.

Results: Women's mean (SD) age and gestational stage were 26 (5) years and 23 (7) weeks, respectively. April 2015 eTDP was measured among 28 women (93%), 29 women (97%), and 23 women (77%) in the control, low-concentration, and high-concentration groups, respectively. In modified intent-to-treat analysis, mean baseline-adjusted endline eTDP was higher among women in the low-concentration (282nM; 95% CI, 235nM to 310nM) and high-concentration (254nM; 95% CI, 225nM to 284nM) groups compared with the control group (193nM; 95% CI, 164nM to 222M; P < .05); low-concentration and high-concentration groups did not differ (P = .19). Breast milk total thiamine concentrations were 14.4 μg/dL for the control group (95% CI, 12.3 μg/dL to 16.5 μg/dL) (to convert to nanomoles per liter, multiply by 29.6); 20.7 μg/dL for the low-concentration group (95% CI, 18.6 μg/dL to 22.7 μg/dL ); and 17.7 μg/dL for the high-concentration group (95% CI, 15.6 μg/dL to 19.9 μg/dL). Mean (SD) infant age at endline was 16 (8) weeks for the control group, 17 (7) weeks for the low-concentration group, and 14 (8) for the high-concentration group. Infant eTDP was higher among those in the high-concentration group (257nM; 95% CI, 222nM to 291nM; P < .05) compared with the low-concentration (212nM; 95% CI, 181nM to 244nM) and control (187nM; 95% CI, 155nM to 218nM) groups.

Conclusions And Relevance: Compared with women in the control group, women who consumed thiamine-fortified fish sauce through pregnancy and early lactation had higher eTDP and breast milk thiamine concentrations and their infants had higher eTDP, which was more pronounced in the high group. Thiamine-fortified fish sauce has the potential to prevent infantile beriberi in this population.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02221063.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2065DOI Listing
October 2016
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