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J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Apr;28(2):169-76.

Beneficial role of green plantain [Musa paradisiaca] in the management of persistent diarrhea: a prospective randomized trial.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Universitario de Maracaibo, Centro Médico, San Francisco, CA, USA.



To evaluate the beneficial effects of green plantain-based diet on stool volume, frequency and weight gain as compared with a traditional yogurt-based diet in children with persistent diarrhea.


In a prospective, in-hospital controlled trial, two different treatments were administered to a sample of 80 children of both sexes, with ages ranging from 1 to 28 months, who had experienced >or= 14 days of persistent diarrhea. The sample was divided into two groups of isocaloric (100 kcal/kg/d) diets: experimental and control, of 40 patients each. The experimental group was randomly given a-week treatment consisting of a 50 g/L of cooked green plantain-based diet. The control group was fed on a yogurt-based diet.


Both groups were not statistically different at admission. Pathogens were isolated from stools in 21.2% and 25% of patients in the experimental and control groups respectively; Aeromonas hydrophilia and Shigela flexneri were the most frequently found bacteria. The experimental group fed on a green plantain diet had a significantly better response in: diminishing stool output and consistency (p < 0.002), stool weight, diarrhea duration (p < 0.001), and increasing daily body weight gain (p < 0.001) than the yogurt-based diet group. The average duration of diarrhea in the plantain-based diet group was 18 hours shorter (p < 0.005) and it also had lower cost (p < 0.005).


Our results support the benefits of green plantain in the dietary management of persistent diarrhea in hospitalized children, in relation to diarrheal duration, weight gain and costs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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