Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Micronutrient fortified oil for prevention of anemia, vitamin B12 and folate deficiency in Indian infants

Aditi Apte, MD


BACKGROUND: Nutritional anemia is prevalent in 59% of under-five Indian children with the highest prevalence in those under-two years and is associated with poor neurocognitive development and impaired immune function. Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency is reported in 63-65% of Indian children and contribute to nutritional anemia. GAP: Oral administration of iron, folate and vitamin B12 is often associated with suboptimal absorption and is influenced by several factors including food. Liposomal micronutrient-fortified (LMF) body oil is an innovative formulation that contains nanosized liposomes of iron, vitamins D and B12, and folate in supplemental doses which are capable of penetrating intact skin. HYPOTHESIS: Daily application of LMF oil can significantly reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency in Indian children with anemia as compared to placebo group; The intervention of LMF oil results in significant improvement in vitamin B12 and folate levels in apparently healthy Indian children. METHODS: The intervention of LMF oil was evaluated in a community-based double-blind randomized controlled study in 444 healthy Indian infants where the study participants received either LMF oil or placebo oil throughout their infancy. The biosamples from this study will be analysed for ferritin, hs-CRP (heat shock C-reactive proteins) and AGP (alpha-1 acid glycoproteins), folate and vitamin B12 levels. RESULTS: Pending. IMPACT: Application of body oil in infants is an ancient practice in the Indian sub-continent and the said intervention, if proven successful, can have a public health impact in terms of reducing micronutrient deficiencies. Website Link:

Supervising Institution:
KEM Hospital Research Centre

Ashish Bavdekar

Project Location:

Award Amount: