The effect of bovine colostrum/egg supplementation compared with corn/soy flour in young Malawian children: A randomized, controlled clinical trial

Tatiana Bierut, Laura Duckworth, Mark Grabowsky, M. Isabel Ordiz, Marie L. Laury, Meghan Callaghan-Gillespie, Ken Maleta, Mark J. Manary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Bovine colostrum with egg powder (BC/egg) is rich in essential amino acids and immunoactive compounds. Objectives: This trial tested the hypothesis that a daily supplement of BC/egg would reduce linear growth faltering and environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) in Malawian infants when compared with an isoenergetic ration of corn/soy flour used as a control. EED was defined by a lactulose permeability test. Methods: This was a prospective, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial in which 9-mo-old infants received BC/egg or a control for 3 mo. The primary outcomes were change in length-for-age z-score (ΔLAZ) and urinary lactulose excretion (%L) at 12-mo-old. Secondary outcomes included episodes of diarrhea, stunting, EED, and the 16S configuration of the fecal microbiota. Results: Of the 277 children enrolled, 267 completed the intervention phase of the study. LAZ decreased in all children from 9 to 17 mo, although ΔLAZ was less in children receiving BC/egg from 9 to 12 mo (difference = 0.12 z-scores; P = 0.0011). This difference persisted after feeding was completed, with less ΔLAZ (difference = 0.09 z-scores). A lower prevalence of stunting was seen in the intervention group (n = 47/137) than the control group (n = 62/127) at 17 mo (RR = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.52, 0.94).The median %L at 12 mo of age in the children receiving BC/egg was 0.14%, compared with 0.17% in the control group (P = 0.74). In children with %L >0.45% at enrollment (severe EED), the BC/egg group had more children with normal %L at 12 mo of age (10/20, 50%) than was seen in controls (2/15, 13%; P = 0.024). Episodes of diarrhea and β-diversity of the 16S configuration of fecal microbiota did not differ between the 2 groups. Conclusions: Addition of BC/egg to complementary feeding in Malawian infants resulted in less linear growth faltering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-427
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume113
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

Keywords

  • amino acids
  • bovine colostrum
  • egg
  • environmental enteric dysfunction
  • stunting

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