Efficacy and safety of therapeutic nutrition products for home based therapeutic nutrition for severe acute malnutrition a systematic review

TARUN GERA

This systematic review showed that the use of therapeutic nutrition products like RUTF for home based management of uncomplicated SAM appears to be safe and efficacious.

The study reviewed eighteen published papers (2 systematic reviews, 7 controlled trials, 7 observational trials and 2 consensus statements). Systematic reviews and RCTs showed RUTF to be at least as efficacious as F-100 in increasing weight (WMD=3.0 g/kg/day; 95% CI -1.70, 7.70) and more effective in comparison to home based dietary therapies.

Locally made RUTFs were as effective as imported RUTFs (WMD=0.07 g/kg/d; 95% CI=-0.15, 0.29). Data from observational studies showed the energy intake with RUTF to be comparable to F-100. The pooled recovery rate, mortality and default in treatment with RUTF was 88.3%, 0.7% and 3.6%, respectively with a mean weight gain of 3.2 g/kg/day. The two consensus statements supported the use of RUTF for home based management of uncomplicated SAM.

The study concluded that most of the evidence on therapeutic nutrition products like RUTF for home based management of uncomplicated SAM has emerged from observational studies conducted in emergency settings in Africa and thus the need for more robust evidence.

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