Nutrition’s Role in Tuberculosis Prevention
- Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It can practically affect any organ of the body. The most common ones are the lungs, pleura (lining around the lungs), lymph nodes, intestines, spine, and brain.
- It is an airborne infection that spreads through close contact with the infected, especially in densely populated spaces with poor ventilation.
- Common symptoms of active lung TB are cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
- A total of 5,621 people were given nutrient-dense food for a year while 4,724 people received food parcels with no extra nutrition. At the end of the trial, there was a 39% reduction in TB incidence in the intervention group versus the control one.
- Weight gain decreased the risks of tuberculosis mortality in severely malnourished TB patients in Jharkhand.
- The study involved 2,800 severely malnourished TB patients in Jharkhand, with a prevalence of undernutrition in 4 out of 5 patients.
- An early weight gain in the first two months was associated with a 60% lower risk of TB mortality.
- Recently, two studies conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and published in prestigious journals such as The Lancet and The Lancet Global Health, have unveiled a pivotal connection between nutrition and tuberculosis (TB) prevention.
- Reducing Activation of Tuberculosis by Improvement of Nutritional Status (RATIONS) trial shows a correlation between nutritional support and the reduction of TB incidence.
- Weight gain’s impact on TB mortality revealing how increased weight among malnourished TB patients correlates with reduced mortality rates
- As per WHO, India accounts for 27% of the global TB incidence and 35% of total TB-related deaths.
- India is set to eliminate TB by 2025.