Title: “A randomised study to evaluate effect of nano-encapsulated micronutrient fortified body oils for infant massage on developmental and nutritional outcomes” is ongoing at KEM Hospital Research Centre, Vadu Rural Health Program.

Objective: Objectives of the study are, “To evaluate the impact of infant massage using nano-fortified sunflower oil on nutritional anemia, vitamin D deficiency and neurodevelopmental scores during infancy as compared to application of non-fortified sunflower oil.” Nutritional deficiency of iron and vitamin D in infants is a public health problem and iron deficiency anaemia in infancy in turn is shown to be associated with poor neurodevelopment in children. There is poor compliance to oral iron supplementation amongst children due to associated side effects of constipation, teeth staining and dyspepsia. We plan to assess effectiveness of an innovative nanotechnology in transdermal supplementation of nutrients using social framework of infant oil massage. The technology platform can be used to encapsulate nutrients into nanoparticles of the size 100-300 nm which have been shown to penetrate the intact skin and enter into the systemic blood circulation. This is a technology developed and patented by Prof Banerjee’s group from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. The technology is frugal, uses food grade material for encapsulation of nutrients and can be scaled up at low cost. This is a randomised placebo controlled clinical trial which will help us to assess the efficacy and safety of this innovative method of nutritional supplementation. The infants will be provided with fortified oil massage throughout the first year of life to assess the effect at one year of life. The study is in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and funded by Grand Challenges Canada.

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