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Thiamine Content of F-75 Therapeutic Milk for Complicated Severe Acute Malnutrition: Time for a Change?Since community-based management of severe acute malnutrition has become the standard of care, the clinical profile of severe acutely malnourished patients admitted to hospitals or inpatient therapeutic feeding centers has changed significantly. These patients are usually very ill and often present with several comorbidities, such as shock, sepsis, and pneumonia. Complicated severe acute malnutrition patients are at risk of thiamine insufficiency, and critically ill patients have higher thiamine requirements. The thiamine content of F-75, the therapeutic milk formula used in the early stabilization phase of refeeding in patients with severe acute malnutrition, seems insufficient. Here, we discuss the need and rationale for a substantial increase in the thiamine content of F-75.
Thiamine deficiency disorders: diagnosis, prevalence, and a roadmap for global control programsThiamine is an essential micronutrient that plays a key role in energy metabolism. Many populations worldwide may be at risk of clinical or subclinical thiamine deficiencies, due to famine, reliance on staple crops with low thiamine content, or food preparation practices, such as milling grains and washing milled rice. Clinical manifestations of thiamine deficiency are variable; this, along with the lack of a readily accessible and widely agreed upon biomarker of thiamine status, complicates efforts to diagnose thiamine deficiency and assess its global prevalence. Strategies to identify regions at risk of thiamine deficiency through proxy measures, such as analysis of food balance sheet data and month-specific infant mortality rates, may be valuable for understanding the scope of thiamine deficiency. Urgent public health responses are warranted in high-risk regions, considering the contribution of thiamine deficiency to infant mortality and research suggesting that even subclinical thiamine deficiency in childhood may have lifelong neurodevelopmental consequences. Food fortification and maternal and/or infant thiamine supplementation have proven effective in raising thiamine status and reducing the incidence of infantile beriberi in regions where thiamine deficiency is prevalent, but trial data are limited. Efforts to determine culturally and environmentally appropriate food vehicles for thiamine fortification are ongoing.