Bonnie and Carolina visited a school in Ivory Coast as part of the preparation for one of the Jacobs Foundation fellowship projects.
Milk ferments that have known beneficial effects, also called probiotics, can have positive influences on health and cognition when consumed as a dietary supplement. Studies in humans demonstrate that ingestion of probiotics can reduce stress, improve intestinal barrier function and nutrient absorption, and may affect memory. Pioneering work in Africa has shown that affordable, localized probiotic products can reduce the morbidity associated with HIV / AIDS, heavy metals, and diarrhea in poor communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
In this project we will investigate whether a milk and millet drink that is fermented with a probiotic, can positively guide cognitive development and health in early childhood.