Researchers, including Lia Fernald, examine complex issue of endangered wildlife meat and childhood anemia in remote area of Madagascar

News Child & Brain Development 24.11.2011

A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, found that children who eat bushmeat are less likely to suffer from anemia, which can impair growth and development. Bushmeat is a source of iron, and iron is an essential component of hemoglobin – the oxygen-transporting protein in red blood cells. The research team, including CIFAR’s Lia Fernald, made their discovery in a remote region of Madagascar, where the local population relies heavily on wildlife for food, including several endangered species like lemurs. In this article by Brian Clark Howard of National Geographic News, the researchers discuss the complexity of this issue. They conclude that if the population they studied lost access to wildlife as a source of food and other measures were not taken, anemia in children would increase significantly. This work has important implications for conservation and children’s health around the world.

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