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

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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.


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).


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.

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