Nutritional interventions in infancy to improve neurodevelopment outcomes
Sunita Taneja, MBBS, PhD
BACKGROUND: Infants from low resource settings often have complementary feeds of low quality, especially in terms of protein and micronutrients. This may adversely affect their neurodevelopment. GAP: Our understanding is limited on the effect of supplementing balanced protein energy micronutrient enriched complementary feeds to infants on their neurodevelopment. Further, evidence is lacking on the effect of supplementing infants with higher amounts and quality of protein on their neurodevelopment. HYPOTHESIS: 1) Infant cereal mix given daily, starting from 6 months till 12 months of infant age, that provides balanced energy, protein, fat and micronutrients will improve neurodevelopment at 24 months in comparison to routine care (counseling only). 2) Daily supplementation with higher amount of protein and increased amount of protein from animal source for six months will lead to higher neurodevelopmental scores at 24 months compared to daily supplementation with relatively lower protein amount and amount of protein from animal source METHODS: The study will be an extended follow up of the infants enrolled in a primary trial (CTRI/2018/04/012932). The infants received either of the two nutritional supplements (similar in energy, fats and micronutrient content but varying in amount of protein and amount of protein from animal source) or only counselling, daily from 6 to 12 months of age. This study will follow up these infants and test the effect on cognitive, motor and language scores at 24 months of age. RESULTS: Pending IMPACT: The findings will guide the design of nutritional program for infants in low-middle-income settings and would be readily scalable by incorporation into existing recommendations for complementary feeding. Website Link: https://sas.org.in/Optional/Additional Comments: Collaborating partners on this study are from University of Bergen, Norway and Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.