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Indian J Med Res. 2007 Sep;126(3):199-203.

A pilot study on the effects of curd (dahi) & leaf protein concentrate in children with protein energy malnutrition (PEM).

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



In protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) there is a significant impairment of immunity, both cell-mediated and humoral, which may be reversed with nutritional rehabilitation. With the use of probiotics like curd (dahi) and micronutrient-rich leaf protein concentrate (LPC), this immune recovery may be hastened. This study was conducted to assess the impact of supplementation of curd and LPC on nutritional status, and immunity as assessed by anthropometry, haemoglobin, ferritin levels, T- cell subpopulation and C-reactive protein (CRP), in children suffering from PEM.


Eighty moderate to severely malnourished children (1-5 yr) were randomized to receive either curd or LPC in addition to WHO recommended two-step diet over 15 days. Nutritional, immunological and haematological parameters were measured before and after supplementation and compared within the groups.


The change in weight, haemoglobin level and CD4:CD8 T-cell subpopulation was significant in both the groups after supplementation. Response of CRP was blunted in PEM. Serum ferritin decreased significantly after supplementation in both groups.


Curd and LPC when added to diet of malnourished children, may have therapeutic value by accelerating immune recovery. More studies need to be done on a larger sample to confirm these findings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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