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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1995 Jul;21(1):73-81.

Improved energy intakes using amylase-digested weaning foods in Tanzanian children with acute diarrhea.

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Centre for International Child Health, Institute of Child Health, London, England.


Amylase from germinating cereal grains enables the preparation of porridge with a higher energy density than conventional weaning foods. This food can be combined with fermentation, which inhibits pathogen growth. These food technologies are inexpensive, can be implemented at the household level, and are therefore particularly appropriate for use in developing countries. In a controlled clinical trial, 75 children aged 6-25 months admitted to hospital with acute diarrhea were rehydrated and then randomly allocated to three corn porridge dietary groups: conventional, amylase-digested (AMD), and fermented and amylase-digested (FAD). The study diets were given ad libitum five times daily, and all intakes except breast milk were weighed. Mean daily energy intakes over 4 days in the conventional AMD, and FAD groups, respectively, were 32.4 (95% CI 28.7-36.6), 46.0 (CI 39.6-53.4), and 37.3 (CI 31.8-43.9) kcal/kg/day. The energy intake in the AMD group was 42% higher than the conventional group (p = 0.003). There were no significant differences between the groups for duration of diarrhea, frequency of stooling, or vomiting. Starch digestion using amylase from germination is an effective way of improving energy intake in children with acute diarrhea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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