By Glenn H. Sullivan, PhD and Guillermo E. Sanchez, PhD
Chronic malnutrition negatively impacts nearly 165 million infants and children under five years of age globally, posing a lifetime of compromised physical, cognitive and metabolic capacity if not mitigated within the first 24 months of life. This global loss of human socioeconomic and economic value is estimated by The Foreign Agriculture Organization to cost globally impacted countries approximately 5% of GDP ($3.5 trillion annually), and ever-increasing welfare costs, not to mention the lifetime of diminished opportunity for the child.
The good news is that there is a new era of nutrition poised to make a dramatic difference in the lives of infants born by mothers in a nutritionally deficit environment conducive to chronic malnutrition. Scientifically documented and FDA-DSHEA compliant nutraceutical nutrition is proving to be the solution for mitigating the negative impacts of infant chronic malnutrition. NutraLac®, by Nutraceutical Technologies International, is an all-natural clinically documented and patent protected plant-based extract enzymatically hydrolyzed from the bran and germ layers of rice, nature’s most nutrient dense cereal grain. NutraLac® is characterized by high bioavailability and bioactivity (efficacy) in the human digestive system. NutraLac® bioactive formulations have been shown to significantly mitigate, and in most cases remediate, the negative physical and cognitive effects of chronic malnutrition in infants when breastfed from lactating mothers who consumed our NutraLac® formulations during the exclusive breastfeeding period (Table 1).
|Table 1. Initial and final ‘Z’ scores and percentile results for five growth indicators of exclusively breast-fed infants ranging from 1.5 to 6 months of age. Their mothers took a 40 g daily ration of the NutraLac® formulation for a 4.5 months post puerperium period.
|Anthropometric Indicator||INITIAL Z2 score (1.5 months old)||FINAL Z2 score (6 months old)||p-value1|
|Weight-for-height (WHZ)||153||0.17 ± 1.3||56.75||129||0.53 ± 1.0||70.19||0.00890|
|Length-for-age (HAZ)||153||-1.9 ± 1.21||2.87||129||-1.78 ± 1.0||3.75||0.34730|
|Weight-for-age (WAZ)||153||-1.6 ± 1.3||5.48||129||-.079 ± 1.0||21.48||<0.0001|
|Cephalic perimeter-for-age (HCZ)||153||-1.3 ± 1.14||9.68||129||-1.03 ± 1.0||15.15||0.03140|
|Body mass index-for-age (BAZ)||153||-0.82 ± 1.33||20.61||129||0.31 ± 1.0||62.17||<0.0001|
|1 Student test for independent samples, INFOSTAT, version 2013
2 ‘Z’ scores of anthropometric indicators, allow for comparison of results with the international child growth reference indicators from the World Health Organization (WHO), as determined by WHO-ANTHRO, version 3.2.2
Table 1 shows the significant improvement of breastfed infants whose mothers consumed our NutraLac® formulation for a 4.5-month post-puerperium period, and until the breastfed infants were six months of age. In this short period, infant growth indicators across all five World Health Organization (WHO) metrics increased following the 135-day testing period. These are significant results. Three key WHO infant growth and wellness indicators exhibited statistically significant improvements (weight for height/length; weight for age; body mass index for age). Cephalic perimeter for age, a crucial indicator of brain growth and cognitive development during this period, also showed significant improvement. These studies serve as the baseline for our Phase 2 clinical trials which will further quantify breast milk composition and nutritional quality and cognitive development during the NutraLac® nutritional period over a six to nine-month period of lactation and breast feeding.
Our 501c3 Organization, Sustainable Nutrition International, is currently in the process of raising funds for these Phase 2 clinical trial initiatives.
The Benefits of Bioactive Nutraceuticals
The nutritional difference between standard nutrient intake by lactating mothers, and the intake of a hydrolyzed bioavailable nutraceutical extracted from plant-based materials like the bran layers of rice, is the nutraceutical capacity for early nutrition with increased bioactivity and absorption (efficacy) in the lactating mothers’ umbilical vein. The transfer of nutrient-rich blood to the nutritional wellbeing of the fetus, and enrichment of the mother’s breast milk during lactation, are essential for remediating chronic malnutrition in the infant. In addition, there are prebiotic benefits to the digestive system of the infant that have sustainable benefits over time.
Our patented all natural enzymatic hydrolyzation technology cleaves complex proteins into simple proteins (peptides and amino acids) for greater digestibility and absorption into the blood stream. By the same process, complex fat and oils are broken down to yield a regime of antioxidants and phytonutrients with pharmacological benefits that provide catalytic value for enhanced nutritional efficacy. Likewise, complex carbohydrates are hydrolyzed into highly digestible polysaccharides for greater absorption and bioactive nutrition. This process is scientifically documented and patented as USPTO Patent No. 8,945,642 B2.
While all cereal grains can be hydrolyzed using the aforementioned enzymatic hydrolyzation process, the bran and germ layers of rice are particularly high in phytonutrients which embody isolates possessing pharmacological values (Table 2). These highly beneficial phytonutrients are not readily digested in the human gastrointestinal system in their natural state, and subsequently pass through the body providing little nutritional value. Our all-natural enzymatic hydrolyzation process is the key to achieving the bioavailability of these important nutraceutical nutritional isolates, and subsequently the bioactive efficacy needed to achieve positive health and wellness results during the critical child development period.
Table 2. The balanced phytonutrient profile of NutraLac®
In summary, plant-derived nutraceuticals that have been extracted, hydrolyzed and scientifically documented, present a significant opportunity to increase the nutritional value in formulations targeting the health and wellness of lactating mothers and their breastfed infants, thereby playing a significant role in mitigating chronic malnutrition on a global basis. Nearly 50 million metric tons of raw rice bran, a by-product of the rice milling process, are available in nutritionally deficient populations worldwide. In awarding the Patent for Humanity Award to our Founder, Dr. Glenn H. Sullivan, the United States Department of Commerce and U.S. Patent Office cited the pioneering benefits resulting from the base rice bran extraction and hydrolyzation technology to capture the potent nutritional embodiment of a globally available by-product of the rice milling process for mitigating chronic malnutrition in infants. To this end, the founding of Sustainable Nutrition International further enhances these humanitarian initiatives that have worldwide potential for helping solve the problem of chronic malnutrition in infants (www.sustainable-nutrition-intl.org).
For more information email Ms. Jennifer Phillips, Executive Administrative Assistant to Dr. Glenn H. Sullivan, at Jphillips@ntiassoc.com.