Research Papers By Dr. Akmal Khan and co-workers
PhD in Nutrition from Queen Elizabeth College/ King's College, University of London (U.K), under Emeritus Professor A.E.Bender, (an authority on protein nutrition and a former Post Graduate student of a World renowned British Scientist and Nobel Aureate Sir Hans Adolf Krebs who discovered Krebs cycle/citric acid cycle).
As Post-doctoral research Fellow worked in the Food and Nutrition Research labs of Dr. B.O.Eggum, an eminent Scandinavian Scientist and Leader, Protein Evaluation Group, Copenhagen, Denmark. Post-graduation (M.Sc) with honours in Nutrition (UAF). Graduation with distinction in Parasitology (PU). INTSOY course on the soyabean processing for food uses from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.
Over 40 years of national/ international experience of postgraduate teaching, research and research management, as Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Community Health, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as Chairman, Department of Nutrition (Universirt of Agriculture Faisalabad), as Eminent Educationist and Researcher (HEC) / Visiting Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and in the Department of Home and Health Sciences, Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad, as Demonstrator in Nutrition at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, Director (Central Research Laboratories), as Chief Scientific Officer/Leader (Food Quality Evaluation Group), Deputy Director General and acting Director General( Promoting Research and Development) at NARC, Islamabad, as Member (AS) in PARC, Coordinating Research at National/International level and as Director (M & E ), Tawana Pakistan Project (School Feeding Program), Ministry of Women Development, Social Welfare and Special Education Islamabad.
Nutrition Consultant to United Nation-UNICEF (Pakistan) & FAO (Sudan, Bangkok), King Khalid University Hospital, (Riyadh) , Gulf Catering Company, School Feeding Program, (Jeddah) and too Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (Muscat), and Visiting Scientist to International Research Centers/Universities in England, Sudan, USA, Canada, Austria, India, Mexico, Syria, Holland, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark and FAO Headquarters,Rome, Italy.
Some notable achievements include generating new knowledge, developing new methods, new products, establishing institutions (research labs, nutrition department and planning unit).
1: Studied mechanism of biological adaptation (changes in protein and energy metabolism) of the body to restricted food intake, this explains how adult human beings appear to maintain health on dietary intakes well below the requirements in developing countries, sucrose induction of hepatic hyperplasia as indicated by an increase in total DNA content ( Nature, 1972), sucrose at a level of 25% of the carbohydrate in the diet produced better growth and protein utilization in the body. A level of 11% of the total dietary calories from fat was adequate to meet the requirement of essential fatty acids. Relative constancy of urinary creatinine and urochrome in human subjects, available lysine and blood catalase (developed new method) as indices of dietary protein quality. Developed weaning/supplementary foods for children, milk from chickpeas (developed new product) for treating persistent diarrhea in children and desirable dietary patterns for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Developed guidelines for planning nutritionally adequate meals for primary school girls. Dietary carbohydrates affecting biological utilization of protein. Predicting dietary protein quality by in-vitro method. Improved the protein quality of cereal based diets by supplementing with different pulses, soy flour, potatoes, fish and leaf protein concentrate similar to meat or milk containing diets. Screening of germplasm/lines for nutritional quality and consumer acceptance to assist plant breeders for developing new varieties. Production environment, storage and processing affecting nutritional quality of cereals, pulses and oil seeds. Improved storage life of wheat flour by using polythene packaging material. Developed more bread from less wheat flour. Healthy diet ensures a healthy heart (Preventing coronary heart disease by diet & life style). Dietary counseling lowered levels of fasting blood glucose and glycoslated hemoglobin in diabetic type-11 patients. The metabolic effect of honey, dates, glucose, sucrose and starch on plasma lipids, insulin and glucose in rats.
2. Evaluated nutritional adequacy of National and Northern Areas diets, breakfast cereals, diets/meals, homemade and commercial baby foods used in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Denmark.The average Pakistani national diet reported in the Nutrition Survey of Pakistan was cooked and evaluated chemically and biologically in growing rats (Click to nutritive value of Pakistani diets). The national diet supplied 13% of the total calories from Protein, 61% from Carbohydrates and 11% from Fat. The calories, protien, essential fatty acids, iron and calcium contents were adequate to meet the dietary requirements and the values were higher than those calculated from Food Composition Tables reported in the survey report.Lysine and threonine were found to be the limiting amino acids. The true protein digestibility (TD)and net protein utilization (NPU) value of national diet were 92% and 66% respectively.Protein was not a limiting factor in Pakistani diet. In general, the average national diet was aqeduate to meet the dietray requirements of all different groups except lactating mothers but may be inadequate for a large number of people consuming below the average intake and were in need of more food.The food problem in Pakistan was not primarily one of the deficiency of protien but related to insufficient supply of food.The industrial processing reduced significantly the level of lysine (35-76%) and arginine (10-41%), true digestibility (4-20%), biological value (13-34%) and net protein utilization (17-41%) in the breakfast cereals used in Pakistan. Keeping in view the poor protein quality of breakfast cereals, the children should never be fed breakfast cereals without milk. The quality of food protein was related to the proportion of amino acids as well as the digestibility of protein. Higher content of dietry fiber and tannin in the diet had a negative effect on the protein digestibility. The protein quality of Pakistani home-made baby food, Kheer (rice pudding)- a blend of rice, milk and sugar had TD (96%) and NPU(81%) and could meet the protein requirement of babies from 6months- 3 years. The protein quality of Kheer was better than those of tested home-made and commercial baby foods used in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.The protein quality of commercial infant formulas/baby foods was lower than human milk. The more that an infant formula differs from avarage human milk in its composition the greater will be the likelihood of occuring harmful effects. The use of commercial infant foods in the diet during a critical developmental period calls for guaranteed high nutritional and safety quality of commercial infant foods. Breast feeding, however, should be recognized as the best way of achieving normal growth and development and reducing infant mortality during the early months of life. Breast feeding can save a million children's lives each year (Save the Children, 2012). Pakistan has the lowest rates of literacy and early initiation of breast feeding and highest rates of bottle feeding and infant and maternal mortality in South Asia.
3: The state of food security, nuitrition and poverty according to various national and international reports could not achieve normalcy in nutrition stability in the country.According to HIES (2010-2011), the per capita consumption of calories and protein per day at national level was 72% and 83% respectively of the requirements.A significant correlation between poor food consumption and low literacy rate was reported (FAO,2008).Malnutrition a major cause of under weight (40%) and physically and mentally stunting (60%) in children under five has been reported (Saleem, .2012). According to available statistics 90 million Pakistani population was food insecure (Less than 2350 Cal/per day), of which of 60% were women (WFP, 2010, Saleem, 2013). Out of under 120 districts, 74 (62%) districts were food insecure (Suleri, 2012).Food insecurity is linked with suicide, terrorism and violance. About 50 percent people were below the poverty line (income below 2$ per day) and food inflation pushed 17 milion more pakistani into poverty (Saleem, 2012).The country was ranked 5th in South Asia and 105 in the world in terms of poverty. The status of education of a nation is directly proportion to its poverty and vice versa.Poverty is closely associated with stunting, undernutrition, vitamin A and iron deficiencies and iron deficiency anemia may limit the effectiveness of Iodine supplementation.Based on food security and nutritional status, Pakistan was classified as "alarming state of hunger and undernutrition" (GHI, 2010). A country can never achieve state security without assuring food security for its people and no progress in child health can be achieved unless undernutrition among children is eleminated. Political stability is must for economic development and a malnourished nation cannot effectively participate in economic growth unless its nutritional problems are solved. Improvements in Agricultural alone cannot be effective in combating undernutrition unless other interventions to improve education, health, sanitation, child care and feeding practices particularly breast feeding within one hour after birth are introduced. .Innovative strategies that integrate agriculture and nutrition programs stand a better chance of combating malnutrition problem.
4: Conducted food and nutrition surveys in schools (Essex) and hospital (Epping) in England, and in Northern Areas of Pakistan, evaluated the impact of agricultural development in the world largest mechanized Agri-farm on the diet and nutrition in Gezira (Sudan) and impact of school feeding on enrollment and height and weight of primary school girls in Gwadar (Pakistan). Diet and nutrition situation in Pakistan. Future agriculture plans for nutritional adequacy in Pakistan. Civic pollution effecting the quality of water and fish in Soan River.Detected pesticide residue (injurious to health) in Tobacco agro-environment in Swabi.A survey on food and nutrition infrastructure in Pakistan funded by UN-FAO Regional Office, Bangkok, Thailand.
5: As Research Manager, established Central Research Laboratories at NARC, Human Nutrition Department (UAF), Nutrition Planning Unit (Sudan), Food Quality Research Labs (Sultenate of Oman), development of Agriculture Research Plan (1988-2000), Child Survival Project, Ministry of Health Islamabad, research linkages with the international research centers, developed research monitoring and evaluation system and recommended dietary allowances for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
6: Dr. Akmal Khan's Food and Nutrition Research Labs at NARC, Islamabad (1983-91) were one of the best ten Food Labs of the World, selected for International advisory services vide International Food Laboratory News (Research Publication). Uppsala, Sweden.7:2, April 1991.
7: Awarded CENTO Fellowship for higher studies (PhD) in England, and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) Research Fellowship for Post-doc research studies in Denmark, medal on World Food Day by FAO (United Nations) and University Grants Commission (Pakistan), distinction in Parasitology from University of Punjab, Lahore and selected as Eminent Educationist and Researcher by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. Regarded as an authority on nutritional problems in Pakistan.
8: Elected Fellow Royal Society of Health, (London), Member Institute of Biology (London), Member Institute of Food Technologist, (USA), Member Editorial Board, Nutrition Reports International, USA, Advisor to International Food Laboratory News, Uppsala, Sweden. Member of Reviewers Panel, Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal (WHO). Member Expert Board on Nutrition, Pakistan Medical Research Council, Member of Working Group on nutrition planning and development, Co-convener of working group on poverty reduction , social projection, on Nutrition and income distribution for the Five Year Plan (2005-10). Ministry of Planning and Member Nutritional Sectional Committee, Pakistan Standards Institution. Member of Academic Council and Selection Board, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.
9: Particiapted and Presented Pakistan/country paper on various international scientific forums in Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, England and USA. Organized training, workshops and seminars and created nutritional awareness through print and electronic media.
10: Highly regarded as a Teacher and a Research Guide, supervised a large number of post-graduates for their M.Sc. M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees.
11: Published 143 research papers/publications in local & foreign journals of International repute, technical reports for the International Agencies of the United Nations, Research Manual, “Enzymes in Biochemical Research” and a review on the achievements of Nutritional Goals (1990-2000), set at 1990 World Summit on child's rights. The goals remain unmet & rights unrealized in Pakistan. Malnutrition due to deficiencies of Iron, Vitamin A & Iodine costs Pakistan Rs. 200 billion (5% of GDP) every year in lost lives, disability & productivity. Iodine deficiency alone costs the country Rs.1.6 billion (3.3% of GDP) every year in lost adult productivity. An overview of Tawana Pakistan Project (Aug- 2002- June-05); a school feeding programme to cover 5,30,000 rural girls (5-12 years) in 5300 government primary schools of 29 high poverty districts of Pakistan for a period of 54 months at a cost of Rs. 3.6 billion. The impact assesment of school feeding programme on the nutritional status of girls, school enrollment, dropout rate, awareness of community in nutrition including utilization of funds, bottlenecks/issues, lessons learnt and proposed the changes in the design of the project including an alternate nutrition package at the end of 36 months was reported.
12. The research work has been cited in the important international publications including FAO (United Nations). All publications are available at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) website. Visit Vision for healthier Pakistan, a motto of department of Home and Health Sciences of the University.