Special Collection;

Spirulina Effectiveness Study on Child Malnutrition in Zambia

Published on 15 September 2014

Ensuring adequate nutrition among vulnerable children has been a serious challenge in Zambia. Chronic child malnutrition is more predominant at 45 per cent while underweight and wasting are at 15 and 5 per cent respectively.

This study tested the effectiveness of spirulina on malnourished children in Zambia. The study took place from June 2012 to February 2013. Sixty children were divided into spirulina treatment and control groups. The outcome of taking spirulina was analysed by collecting anthropometric data. The fixed-effect regression result showed that 10g of spirulina dairy intake leads to improvement by producing 0.29 higher points in the height-for-age z-score (HAZ); confidence
interval (CI)[0.0404, 0.535]. On the contrary, the weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) and the mid-upper arm circumference z-score (MUACZ) did not show a significant difference, although treated children showed a larger improvement by 0.09 points and 0.38 points, respectively. This study implied the validity of spirulina in reducing chronic malnutrition.

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