Improving nutritional status and health of infants and lactating women through the use of Lipid Based Nutrition Supplements (LNS): Evidence from a longitudinal, randomized trial in Lilongwe, Malawi

Ready to use, lipid-based micronutrient-fortified supplements or foods (LNS) in the form of energy-dense spreads have been used extensively for nutritional rehabilitation of severely malnourished children in clinical settings and are now being considered for broader use as complementary weaning foods for breastfed infants or as a major nutrient source for non-breastfed infants. LNS have important advantages in resource-poor settings, and the main goal of this study is to provide the scientific evidence to support the broad use of low-cost LNS to enhance the nutritional status of women and children. The study addresses three broad research questions: (1) How does LNS given to infants who are not breast-fed in the second six months of life affect their nutritional status, growth and health during that time period? (2) How does LNS given to lactating women affect the nutritional status, growth and health of their breastfeeding infant? (3) How does LNS given to lactating women affect their own health and nutritional status? To address these research questions, this study is analyzing samples and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral, and Nutrition Study (BAN), a clinical trial in Malawi designed to assess how maternal nutrition supplementation and antiretroviral interventions during lactation influence breastfeeding-associated HIV transmission and maternal nutritional status.

Principal Investigator: Margaret E. Bentley

CPC Fellow Investigator: Linda S. Adair

Funding Source: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Grant Number: OPP53107

Funding Period: 8/28/2009 - 12/31/2013

Primary Research Area: Population Health,Reproductive Health

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