This Fish on Farms team is currently developing a scalable, cost-effective model of integrated Homestead Food Production (HFP) to improve nutrition, food security and women’s empowerment in Cambodia with the aim of reaching 4500 households.

The DOMInO Trial was designed to test whether fish oil capsules rich in the omega-3 fatty acid Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) taken during the last half of pregnancy reduced the symptoms of postnatal depression at 6 weeks and 6 months, or improved development of the child at 18 months of age.

The DOMInO 7 Bod Pod Study is a long term follow-up study of some of the children taking part in the DOMInO Trial. The aim of this study is to determine whether taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy containing the omega-3 fat, docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), can affect the growth of muscle and fat.

The aim the STEP Trial (Starting Time for Egg Protein) is to determine whether the incidence of egg allergy is reduced by early regular exposure to egg compared with the common practice of delaying egg introduction in infancy.

This aim of the six year “allergy follow-up” study was to determine whether taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy containing the omega-3 fat, docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), can reduce the development of allergies in children and how long these effects may last. The six year assessments involved 605 families who took part in the DO MInO Trial 1 & 3 year allergy follow up.

If you are planning or currently breastfeeding your baby you may be able to help us identify whether babies born in Adelaide may need vitamin D supplements at birth.

Vitamin D is made in the skin when exposed to sun. However, the Cancer Council of Australia discourages exposing babies to sunlight as this increases the risk of skin cancer. In the winter, the sun in South Australia is not strong enough to make a lot of vitamin D. Therefore, there is a need to find out what the level of vitamin D is in South Australian babies and whether they need supplementation. Health experts in parts of Europe and North America recommend that all breastfed babies be given vitamin D supplements. However, in Australia, we have no similar recommendations. We hope to provide information to help make recommendations as to whether young babies in South Australia need early supplementation.

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Infantile beriberi, a fatal disease caused by thiamin (vitamin B1) deficiency, remains a public health concern in Cambodia and regions where B-vitamin poor, polished white rice is a staple food. Low maternal thiamin intake limits breast milk thiamin content, putting breastfed infants at risk of beriberi. In this study we fortified fish sauce, a popular Cambodian condiment, to increase maternal dietary thiamin intake.

Allergies are common and result in a significant burden to families and the health care system. Recent research indicates that up to 70% of children with raw egg allergy can eat egg baked in a cake or muffin without apparent reaction, and this is associated with changes in the immune system that may lead to increased tolerance to egg.

This aim of the “allergy follow-up” study was to determine whether supplementing the diet of pregnant women with the omega-3 fat, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), reduced the number of children with allergies at 1 and 3 years of age. The allergy follow up assessments involved 706 families taking part in the DOMInO Trial who had at least one family member with a history of eczema, asthma or hayfever.

The PINK Study (Pregnancy Iodine and Neurodevelopment in Kids) will determine the relationship between iodine nutrition in pregnancy and development of children at 18 months of age.

This is a randomised trial funded by NHMRC to evaluate a user-controlled, personalised and interactive mobile phone tool to support and facilitate maternal fetal movement awareness and reporting of decreased fetal movements.

The MAGENTA trial is assessing whether antenatal magnesium sulphate given to women at risk of preterm birth between 30 and 34 weeks' gestation reduces the risk of death or cerebral palsy in their children.

This study was designed to determine if giving extra DHA to premature babies improves mental development at 18 months of age. We also wanted to see if any effects were sustained to the early school years.

In the N3RO Trial (N-3 fatty acids for improvement in Respiratory Outcomes), we investigated whether giving very preterm infants (those born less than 29 weeks’ gestation) an extra supply of an n-3 (or omega-3) fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), improved important respiratory outcomes associated with being born early. 

The outcome of the trial has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NJEM): Docosahexaenoic Acid and Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Preterm Infants. The paper reports the results of the N3RO trial that involved 13 centres in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore and showed that giving extra omega 3 fats to babies born <29 weeks has no effect on chronic lung disease and may increase risk.

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficiency of uptake of omega-3 fatty acids into breast milk from a specific type of omega-3 supplement. 

Omega-3 fatty acids support both maternal health and infant development. Fish is the major dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, but fish consumption in Australia is low, and omega-3 supplements are an alternative way to increase omega-3 status. Previous studies have shown that the uptake of omega-3 fatty acids into human blood and breast milk can vary significantly between different types of omega-3 supplements according to the formulation and form in which the fatty acids are provided. In the case of women who are breastfeeding, the uptake of supplements into breast milk depends on both the efficiency of uptake into the maternal circulation, and the transfer of these fatty acids to the breast milk, both of which can vary between individuals. 

A lack of vitamin D in early childhood leads to a serious bone disease called rickets and possibly other negative health outcomes. While exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is recommended, breast milk does not contain adequate Vitamin D. In Canada and some other countries government health authorities recommend vitamin D supplementation of breastfed babies.However, supplementation has disadvantages: overdose, education, compliance, and contradiction of ‘breast is best’ messaging. Maternal vitamin D supplementation, however, shows promise. Improving mother’s vitamin D status may protect her infant from vitamin D deficiency through both increased accrual in utero, and vitamin D transfer to breast milk. However, we do not know the dose of maternal of vitamin D needed.

Anemia, defined by a low hemoglobin level, affects half of women in Cambodia. Hemoglobin is important as it helps to transfer oxygen in the blood throughout the body. Without enough hemoglobin women feel tired and it may hurt their baby when pregnant. Anemia is caused by poor nutrition, blood gene problems, as well as infections. In Cambodia, iron deficiency is assumed to be the cause of anemia due to low-iron diets. However, it is difficult to assess iron deficiency in populations that have high rates of blood gene problems and infection. The blood markers that are usually used to measure iron deficiency are increased in people with these blood gene problems and infection. Therefore, it is difficult to determine if women in Cambodia really have iron deficiency. This is important in terms of planning nutrition programs that will help with anemia. In this study we supplemented women with iron and measured hemoglobin to assess whether anaemia was caused by iron deficiency.

The ORIP Trial (Omega-3 fats to Reduce the Incidence of Prematurity) is a research study that investigated whether taking a fish oil rich in the omega 3 fat, called Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), during pregnancy will help prevent very premature delivery.

It was the largest clinical trial of omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy in the world. The study has finished recruiting and analysis of results is currently taking place.

The aims of the WISH project are to nationally monitor and improve uptake of the use of antenatal magnesium sulphate immediately prior to imminent (birth planned or definitely expected within 24 hours) early preterm birth (less than 30 weeks' gestation) to reduce the risk of babies dying or developing cerebral palsy.

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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna Nation.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and respects the traditional owners, the family clans who are the Kaurna Nation from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. We acknowledge the clans of the Kaurna Nation and the sacred knowledge they hold for their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna Nation, their ancestors and the descendants of these living family clans today.