Medical Applications for Biomaterials in Bolivia

Part of the series SpringerBriefs in Public Health pp 41-44


Sunflower Seeds

  • Susan AriasAffiliated withSchool of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University Email author 
  • , Sujata K. BhatiaAffiliated withSchool of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

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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).