Absorption of macronutrients and nitrogen balance in children with dysentery fed an amylase-treated energy-dense porridge
The aim of this study was to determine the absorption of macronutrients and energy from an energy-dense diet liquefied with amylase from germinated wheat (ARF) in children suffering from acute dysentery. Thirty male children aged 6-35 months presenting with acute dysentery were randomly assigned to receive either an ARF-treated porridge or a standard porridge liquefied with water to make its consistency similar to the ARF porridge. After 24-h stabilization a 72-h metabolic balance was performed. Sixteen children received an ARF-treated porridge and 14 received a standard porridge liquefied with water. The mean +/- SD coefficients of absorption (%) of carbohydrate, fat, protein and energy (ARF porridge vs regular porridge) were 81.4 +/- 11 vs 86.9 +/- 7, 86.1 +/- 10 vs 82.8 +/- 15, 57.3 +/- 12 vs 48.4 +/- 24 and 81.4 +/- 9 vs 83.1 +/- 8, respectively. The stool loss of carbohydrate, protein, fat and energy was similar in the two groups. The net absorption of energy was substantially greater in the ARF-fed than regular porridge-fed children (by 28%, p = 0.01). The nitrogen balance was 6.9 +/- 3.4 mg kg(-1) d(-1) in the ARF porridge group and 1.1 +/- 6.7 mg kg(-1) d(-1) in the regular porridge group (p = 0.01). These results show that, despite being hyperosmolar, an amylase-treated liquefied energy-dense porridge is absorbed as well as a regular porridge by malnourished children with severe dysentery. Consequently, its use substantially increased the absorption of a net amount of macronutrients and resulted in a better nitrogen balance. These results further support this innovative approach of feeding sick children in developing countries.
Acta Paediatr 1997 Dec;86(12):1312-6