According to the sources published in PLOS One in January 2016, it has been reported that a team of researchers from the Cambodia-based French Research Institute for Development have found that eating fortified rice can increase the risk of hookworm infections. In this regard, a study in Cambodian school children showed that rice added with micro-nutrients inadvertently helps parasites to grow. The researchers analyzed faecal samples of about 2,000 children at 16 primary schools. The schools were randomly split into four groups such as children in one group received plain rice while the other groups received fortified with micro-nutrients such as iron, zinc, folate and different vitamins.
During this study, the team measured levels of intestinal infections in the four groups after three and seven months and found that groups which consumed micro-nutrients fortified rice contracted with hookworm infections. It was observed that the merits of micro-nutrients repletion should be weighed carefully against its possible risks. One of the authors of the paper revealed that there is absolutely an important role to play by the fortified rice, but it should be tailor-made to the local situation. However, it was noted that deworming every six months would help to reduce hookworm infections likely to surface with fortified rice.
According to the findings, it has been reported that the study received some mixed reactions as one of the nutrition researchers at Mahidol University in Thailand narrated that the study’s findings required to be verified because parasite infections are more or less common in some seasons. So, it has been stated that conducting the study in a season, when gut infections are common, may provide misleading results.