The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Using Sprinkles to reduce anemia in children

    Sprinkles is a nutritional supplement containing iron, zinc, vitamin A, folic acid, and vitamin C. Researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York traveled to Haiti to do the study.

    First, the details.

    • 10 food distribution points were established.
    • All children (9 to 24 months old) received take-home rations of fortified wheat-soy blend (WSB).
    • They were also randomly assigned to receive or not receive Sprinkles-WSB.

    And, the results.

    • For those who got the Sprinkles, anemia rates were reduced from 54% to 14% over 7 months.
    • Anemia rates remained unchanged in children who did not receive Sprinkles.

    The bottom line?
    Fortified food aid alone was insufficient to prevent anemia in infants and young children, even if mothers were advised to complement the donated commodities with locally available, iron-rich foods. The problem was they couldn’t afford the food.

    However, the results show that it’s possible to integrate Sprinkles distribution and education into existing food aid programs, and mothers were receptive to using them.

    “Sprinkles are one of the most promising innovations in nutrition today,” said lead author, Dr. Purnima Menon. “They offer an inexpensive option that mothers seem to love and children can consume easily.”

    According to the Cornell press release, World Vision-Haiti currently assists mothers with purchasing Sprinkles from Population Services International, a social marketing firm, which markets them in Haiti under the name “Babyfer.”

    7/30/07 19:52 JR

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