Share this article on:

Efficacy of an MFGM-enriched Complementary Food in Diarrhea, Anemia, and Micronutrient Status in Infants

Zavaleta, Nelly*; Kvistgaard, Anne Staudt; Graverholt, Gitte; Respicio, Graciela*; Guija, Henry*; Valencia, Norma*; Lönnerdal, Bo

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: November 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 5 - p 561–568
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318225cdaf
Original Article: Hepatology and Nutrition

Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of a milkfat globule membrane (MFGM)–enriched protein fraction in a complementary food, on diarrhea, anemia, and micronutrient status.

Subjects and Methods: A randomized, double-blind controlled design to study 550 infants, 6 to 11 months old, who received daily for 6 months a complementary food (40 g/day) with the protein source being either the MFGM protein fraction or skim milk proteins (control). Health and nutritional status of infants were examined monthly in the outpatient clinic; product intake, food patterns, and diarrhea morbidity were assessed by home visits twice per week. Hemoglobin and micronutrient status were measured at 0 and 6 months of intervention. Results are presented as the entire group and as 6 to 8 and 9 to 11 months subgroups.

Results: A total of 499 infants completed the study. Global prevalence of diarrhea was 3.84% and 4.37% in the MFGM group and control group, respectively (P < 0.05). Consumption of the MFGM protein fraction reduced episodes of bloody diarrhea (odds ratio 0.54; 95% confidence interval 0.31–0.93, P = 0.025) adjusting for anemia and potable water facilities as covariates. There were no differences between groups in anemia, serum ferritin, zinc, or folate.

Conclusions: Addition of an MFGM-enriched protein fraction to complementary food had beneficial effects on diarrhea in infants and may thus help to improve the health of vulnerable populations.

*Instituto de Investigación Nutricional, Lima, Peru

Arla Foods Ingredients, Viby, Denmark

Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Bo Lönnerdal, Department of Nutrition, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (e-mail:

Received 20 November, 2010

Accepted 23 May, 2011

The present study was supported by Arla Foods Ingredients, Viby, Denmark.

A.S.K. and G.G. are employees of Arla. The other authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2011 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN