Household Consumption of Thiamin-Fortified Fish Sauce Increases Erythrocyte Thiamin Concentrations among Rural Cambodian Women and Their Children Younger Than 5 Years of Age: A Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial

Kyly C. Whitfield, Crystal D. Karakochuk, Hou Kroeun, Ly Sokhoing, Benny B. Chan, Mam Borath, Prak Sophonneary, Kirsten Moore, Jeffery K.T. Tong, Judy McLean, Aminuzzaman Talukder, Larry D. Lynd, Eunice C.Y. Li-Chan, David D. Kitts, Tim J. Green

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To assess whether ad libitum consumption of thiamin-fortified fish sauce over 6 months yields higher erythrocyte thiamin diphosphate concentrations (eTDP) among women of childbearing age and their children aged 12-59 months compared with control sauce containing no thiamin. Study design In this double-blind, randomized controlled efficacy trial, 276 nonpregnant, nonlactating women (18-45 years of age) and their families in Prey Veng, Cambodia, were randomized to receive 1 of 3 fish sauce formulations: low thiamin concentration (low, 2 g/L), high thiamin concentration (high, 8 g/L), or a control (no thiamin) fish sauce. Baseline (t = 0) and endline (t = 6 months) eTDP were measured with the use of high-performance liquid chromatography with a fluorescence detector. Results Fish sauce consumption did not differ between treatment groups (P = .19). In intent-to-treat analysis, women's baseline-adjusted endline eTDP (mean; 95% CI) was higher among women in the low (259; 245-274 nmol/L) and high (257; 237-276 nmol/L) groups compared with control (184; 169-198 nmol/L; P < .001); low and high groups did not differ (P = .83). Similarly, children's baseline-adjusted eTDP was higher in the low (259; 246-271 nmol/L) and high (257; 243-270 nmol/L) groups compared with control (213; 202-224 nmol/L; P < .001). Conclusion Fortified fish sauce appears to be an efficacious means of improving biochemical thiamin status in nonpregnant, nonlactating women and their children (1-5 years of age) living in rural Cambodia. Trial registration NCT02221063.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-247.e2
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Feb 2017


  • Southeast Asia
  • fish sauce
  • fortification
  • maternal and child health
  • thiamin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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