Lipid based nutrient supplements (LNS) for treatment of children (6 months to 59 months) with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM)

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Evidence restricted to the African regions suggests that lipid nutrient supplements (LNS) may be slightly more effective than specially formulated fortified foods or nutritional counselling in recovery from MAM, lowering the risk of deterioration into SAM, and improving weight gain with little impact on mortality or default rate.

MAM is a health problem affecting children from low and middle-income countries. LNS may help to treat this condition. This review aims to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of LNS on treating MAM in children between 6 and 59 months old. Nine randomized-controlled trials and controlled before-after studies were included in this review, including 8934 participants. Risk of bias was assessed using guidelnies from the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Results showed LNS improved recovery rate as well as decreasing chances of no recovery and risk of deterioration into severe acute malnutrition. There was improvement in weight gain, weight-for- height z-scores, height-for-age z-scores and mid-upper arm circumference. Little impact on improvement in weight gain, weight-for- height z-scores, height-for-age z-scores and mid-upper arm circumference was noted. One study comparing LNS with nutritional counselling (very low quality evidence) showed higher chance of recovery, lower risk of deteriorating into severe acute malnutrition and lower default rate, with no impact on mortality, and no recovery.

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