Impact of an extract from the bran layer of rice on the nutrition of lactating mothers and growth of their exclusively breastfed infants: a longitudinal study


  • Guillermo E. Sanchez Sustainable Nutrition International, USA, and Central American Institute for Agriculture Development (ICADA), Guatemala, Central America
  • Glenn H. Sullivan Nutraceutical Technologies International, USA
  • Larry R. Miller Nutraceutical Technologies International, USA



Background: The nutritional composition of the bran layer of rice (RB), a globally available product of the rice milling process, has attracted attention as a nutraceutical food source. However, to capitalize on RB’s nutritional properties for humans, it is necessary to achieve a level of bioavailability that increases the efficacy needed to impact the nutritional well-being of lactating mothers and their breastfed infants. To accomplish this, a hydrolyzed enzymatic extract (RBEE) with increased protein, vitamin, carbohydrate, and antioxidant bioactivity has been developed.

Objective: To determine the impact of RBEE on the nutritional status of lactating mothers (LM) and the growth of their exclusively breastfed (EBF) infants, living in food-insecure environments in rural Guatemala. 

Methods:  A RBEE daily ration was consumed by post-puerperium LM for 4.5 months of the EBF period. The nutritional impact on LMs was determined by body mass index (BMI). Anemia prevalence and packed cell volume (PCV) were obtained via hematocrit (HCT). Infant growth was determined monthly following World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, including weight-for-length (WHZ), weight-for-age (WAZ), length-for-age (LAZ), BMI-for-age (BAZ) and head circumference-for-age (HCZ). Initial, midterm and final growth indicators were analyzed by Student t-test for independent samples. 

Results: While no significant differences were found between the initial and final BMI in LMs, anemia prevalence was significantly reduced from 12.1% to 4%. HCT results in LMs showed a significant increase (p<0.05) in PCV by the study’s end, from 40.55% to 41.42%. Following a student t-test analysis, infant growth indicators WHZ, WAZ and BAZ showed a highly significant (p<0.01) increase. A significant (p<0.05) improvement was detected in WAZ, while LAZ scores improved from -1.9 to -1.76.

Conclusions: The dietary supplementation of lactating mothers with an RBEE during the EBF period significantly impacted the mother-infant dyad, with improved growth of the exclusively breastfed infants and a reduction in anemia prevalence in mothers. Further research will include the quantity and quality of the putative increased maternal milk synthesis. 


Keywords: rice bran, bioactive, bioavailability, enzyme-treated extract, functional food, infants, exclusive breastfeeding, lactating mothers, anemia, chronic, acute, malnutrition, Guatemala, growth, nutrition, children.






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