The University of Auckland
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HVN SUN Metadata Record - Seeding throUgh FeediNg: nourishing the infant microbiome to support immune health

posted on 2023-12-19, 21:43 authored by Clare R. Wall

This metadata record and it's attached files make statements about the kinds of data collected as part of this research, and set out policies for governance of that data, now and in the future.   

The SUN RCT is a double-blind, randomised controlled trial and will involve 300 infants who have not yet started solids and their mothers. The food-based intervention (kumara powder) will start at around 6 months of age (the recommended age for introduction of complementary feeding, according to the NZ Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation recommendations). The study will be completed four months after the introduction of solids (i.e., when your baby is around 10 months of age). 

Participants will be randomised to one of three groups (100 infants in each group). One group will receive a standard kumara powder, another group will receive the kumara powder with an increased amount of resistant starch (prebiotic) from banana, and a third group will be the control group. The control group will not be required to give their child any kumara powder. If randomised to a kumara group, participants will be asked to gradually introduce the kumara powder their baby is consuming approximately 5 g (1 tsp) of powder per day. The kumara is prepared by mixing the powder with hot (not boiling) water to form an age-and stage-appropriate paste and adding it to infant food(s). Participants will be supplied with all the kumara powder required for participation in this study at no cost. The kumara powder will be provided every 2 months at your clinic visit. Both kumara groups involve the use of an accepted ingredient in infant nutrition (kumara) which is manufactured in a registered facility that complies with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand Guidelines, with respect to manufacturing standards and compliance with food safety requirements, including allergy management. If randomised to control group, participants will receive a gift voucher to the value of the provided kumara. 

The purpose of the SUN RCT is to determine whether a food (kumara), consumed as a first food, will be beneficial to the development of the infant microbiome (the bacteria within the digestive tract) and whether this can support infant immune health (including illness frequency and sleep behaviours). Resistant starch is a carbohydrate that resists digestion and acts as a prebiotic food for the good gut bacteria. This study will be conducted in Auckland, New Zealand. 



University of Auckland

Temporal coverage: start


HVN Project / Programme Name


Data access requirements

No individual participant data sharing has been approved under the ethics approval for this study.

Principal investigator organisation

University of Auckland

Collaborating researchers and affiliations

Principal Investigators: Professor Clare Wall, Head of Discipline - Nutrition, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland Lead Scientists: Professor Nicole Roy (University of Otago) Professor Warren McNabb (Massey University) Dr Olivier Gasser (Malaghan Institute of Medical Research) Dr Tommi Vatanen (University of Auckland) Associate investigators: Professor Barbara Galland (University of Otago) Dr Jane Mullaney (AgResearch) Dr Karl Fraser (AgResearch) Dr Eric Altermann (AgResearch) Dr Amy Lovell (University of Auckland) Dr Janine Cooney (Plant and Food Research) Site Investigators/Coordinators: Dr Robyn Lawrence (University of Auckland) Ms Jacqui Tonkie (Massey University) Miss Xiaoxi Fu (University of Auckland) Miss Nisha Mahawar (University of Auckland) Trial Statistician: Dr Yannan Jiang (University of Auckland)

Data description

Outcomes of the Study and associated data Primary outcome The primary outcome of this trial is the prevalence of respiratory tract infections (RTIs), defined as at least one episode of URTI at 4 months post randomisation (i.e. Yes or No). Associated data: Prevalence of reported illness, GP illness verification, protective plasma antibody response following oral rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccination Secondary outcomes 1. Growth Associated data: Anthropometric measurements (body weight, body length) 2. Biomarkers of metabolic function - Faecal metabolome, blood metabolome, dietary intake, sleep behaviors, breastmilk composition Associated data: Faecal IgA, vaccine-specific antibody response, microbiota, Antibody titres, metabolome, plasma IgA and IgG, metabolites, Food frequency questionnaire (mother), 3-day food record (infant), complementary feeding FFQ (infant), 5-day Acti-Graph measurements (infants), 5-day sleep diary (infants), brief infant sleep questionnaire (infant), PROMIS sleep disturbance and sleep impairment questionnaire (parents), Microbiome, human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), lipidome, exosome, flow cytometry

Principal investigator contact email