Rice Bran Supplementation Mitigates Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED) in Weaning Infants

rice bran to mitigate environmental enteropathy

Study Spotlight

A study by Zambrana, Luis E et al. has found that dietary rice bran supplementation mitigates environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) in weaning infants in Nicaragua and Mali. This finding supports the use of rice bran supplementation as intervention and prevention strategy in populations affected by EED.

EED is gastrointestinal condition that is characterized by intestinal nutrient malabsorption and increased intestinal permeability. This enteropathy is associated with poor sanitation and is mostly seen in young children in economically disadvantaged regions. It is presumed to be caused, at least in part, by chronic exposure to enteric pathogens during early childhood. EED can lead to malnutrition, and thus stunted growth and increased risk of early death.

In many lower-income regions where EED is prevalent, rice is grown as a staple food. The bran is often used as animal feed or wasted, despite being a nutrient dense food with health benefits supported by numerous human and animal studies.

The study investigated the effects of rice bran supplementation on weight for age and length for age z-scores (WAZ, LAZ), EED stool biomarkers, as well as microbiota and metabolome signatures in weaning infants from 6 to 12 months old that reside in Nicaragua and Mali. It found the supplementation to 1) be safe and feasible, 2) result in improved growth, 3) decrease diarrheal disease incident, 4) significantly decrease stool Alpha-1-Antitrypsin level in Nicaragua infants who consumed rice bran compared to control, and 5) improve gut microbial communities and metabolites.

To read the full paper, follow the citation link below:

Zambrana, Luis E et al. “Rice bran supplementation modulates growth, microbiota and metabolome in weaning infants: a clinical trial in Nicaragua and Mali.” Scientific reports vol. 9,1 13919. 26 Sep. 2019, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-50344-4

Biomarker Insight

Alpha-1-Antitrypsin (A1AT) is a 52 kD glycoprotein, which is produced by the liver, intestinal macrophages, monocytes and mucous membrane cells of the gut. A1AT inhibits, beside others, the proteinases trypsin and the elastase of neutrophils. A lack of A1AT leads to an enhanced proteolysis. Only a very small amount of alpha-1-antitrypsin is cleaved or resorbed in the gut. Therefore the measurement of A1AT in stool reflects the permeability of the gut during inflammatory processes. Thus, stool A1AT measurement is a valuable tool in the environmental enteropathy and diarrheal disease research field. 

A1AT is also known as: α-1-AT, SERPINA1, SERPIN A1, serum trypsin inhibitor, alpha 1 proteinase inhibitor, Alpha-1-antiproteinase.

Product Spotlight

Immuchrom GmbH logo

In the study discussed above, Alpha-1-Antitrypsin levels were measured in fecal samples using the Immuchrom Alpha-1 Antitrypsin ELISA for Human Stool.

This assay, manufactured in Germany by Immuchrom GmbH, was specifically developed for quantification of A1AT in human stool and serum samples.

For more information on this immunoassay kit, please visit the product page: Alpha-1 Antitrypsin ELISA for Human Stool

Immuchrom offers a broad portfolio of gastrointestinal biomarker assays (calprotectin, sIgA, lysozyme, etc.), which you may browse here: https://ilexlife.com/collections/gastrointestinal-biomarker-assays

Ilex Life Sciences LLC is an official distributor of Immuchrom Gmbh products.