Sunflower seeds contribute to a large percentage of the world’s vegetable oil production (United States Department of Agriculture in Sunflowerseed, 2014b). They are also a healthy snack rich in vitamins and other nutrients with a variety of anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, energy, and other health benefits (The World’s Healthiest Foods in Sunflower Seeds, 2014). The topical application of sunflower seed oil (SSO) on the skin of premature newborns has been found to reduce the incidence of invasive bacterial infections compared to control groups (Darmstadt et al. in Pediatr Infect Dis J 23(8):719–725, 2004). This reduction in preterm infant bacterial infections with a treatment that requires very little training is especially significant for medical care in low-income countries whose high infant mortality rates are often due to lack of trained personnel capable of delivering treatment (World Health Organization in Neonatal conditions, 2013, in Newborn death and illness, 2014).
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2014) Faostat. http://faostat.fao.org/site/567/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=567#ancor. Accessed 03 Feb 2014
- The World’s Healthiest Foods (2014) Sunflower Seeds. http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=57. Accessed 25 March 2014
- United States Department of Agriculture (2014a) Helianthus annuus L. http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=hean3. Accessed 25 March 2014
- United States Department of Agriculture (2014b) Sunflowerseed. http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/soybeans-oil-crops/sunflowerseed.aspx#.UzGUUK1dWCU. Accessed 25 March 2014
- World Health Organization (2013) Neonatal Conditions. http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/priority_medicines/Ch6_23Neonatal.pdf. Accessed 25 March 2014
- World Health Organization (2014) Newborn death and illness. http://www.who.int/pmnch/media/press_materials/fs/fs_newborndealth_illness/en/. Accessed 25 March 2014