Mikhuna Project

Evolutionary nutrition pilot: enhancing fetal growth and Development

Location: El Quinche, Ecuador

Collaborators: Washington University in St. Louis, Brown School, Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Description: Globally, 250 million children do not reach their developmental potential and 155 million are stunted, yet few population-based studies have examined the direct effects of nutrient deficiencies on early brain development.  This study will examine an evolutionary nutrition intervention during pregnancy derived from diets consumed for 99.9% of hominin history when bodies and brains were healthier.  A pilot clinical trial will be conducted in the central highlands of Ecuador to compare fetal and newborn outcomes among women randomized to:  1) evolutionary nutrition package (high quality diet plus nutrition messaging); and 2) control (standard-of care supplements).  Ultrasound brain measures, nutrition and morbidity data, and blood metabolomics will be assessed at 21 weeks gestational age, 37 weeks gestational stage, and postpartum. 

Sponsor: Children’s Discovery Institute