Background: The case fatality rate of severely malnourished children during inpatient treatment is high and mortality is often associated with diarrhea. As intestinal carbohydrate absorption is impaired in severe acute malnutrition (SAM), differences in dietary formulations during nutritional rehabilitation could lead to the development of osmotic diarrhea and subsequently hypovolemia and death. We compared three dietary strategies commonly used during the transition of severely malnourished children to higher caloric feeds, i.e., F100 milk (F100), Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and RUTF supplemented with F75 milk (RUTF + F75).
Methods: In this open-label pilot randomized controlled trial, 74 Malawian children with SAM aged 6-60 months, were assigned to either F100, RUTF or RUTF + F75. Our primary endpoint was the presence of low fecal pH (pH
Results: The proportion of children with acidic stool (pH
Conclusions: This pilot trial does not demonstrate that a particular transition phase diet is significantly better or worse since biochemical and clinical outcomes in children with SAM did not differ. However, larger and more tightly controlled efficacy studies are needed to confirm these findings.
- Carbohydrate malabsorption
- Ready-to-use therapeutic food
- MALNOURISHED CHILDREN
- SUGAR INTOLERANCE
- CHRONIC DIARRHEA