Nutrition Boost Reduces TB Deaths And Contagion: Landmark Study In India
A groundbreaking study in rural India, led by Professor Anurag Bhargava and funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research, demonstrates the vital role of nutrition in treating tuberculosis (TB). The Reducing Activation of Tuberculosis by Improvement of Nutritional Status (RATIONS) trial revealed a striking decrease in death rates and improved patient function.
The trial, conducted amidst the Covid pandemic, targeted both patients and their family members with pulmonary TB, a highly contagious form. By enhancing nutrition with food baskets and supplements, the incidence of new TB cases among family members dropped by 40-50%. Patient treatment success reached an impressive 94%, with a 35% reduction in TB mortality attributed to nutritional support.
The cost-effective intervention cost a mere $0.49/day ($13/month), highlighting its affordability and potential for widespread impact. With TB experts and officials advocating for nutritional support as an essential component of care, this pragmatic trial underscores the powerful effect of addressing malnutrition, paving the way for better health outcomes and TB elimination goals.