Thirteen years after the publication of the first series of The Lancet on maternal and child undernutrition, researchers and scientists have reviewed progress and provided new analyses in a series entitled Maternal and child undernutrition progress.
One of the key findings of this new series, based on the results of multiple studies published since the last release in 2013, concerns the SQ-LNS, the lipid-based nutritient supplements in small quantities, which Nutriset developed as part of the iLiNS research consortium.
The Lancet recommends, globally, supplementation with SQ-LNS to reduce maternal and child undernutrition.
The article Effective interventions to address maternal and child malnutrition: an update of the evidence highlights the results of all work on SQ-LNS, including recent meta-analyses that confirm a significant impact on reducing the incidence of stunting, wasting, and underweight in children aged 6 to 23 months.
Specifically, in the studies that tested supplementation withthe SQ-LNS Enov'Nutributter Plus, when compared to the control group, the group of children who received the product had :
- 12-14% fewer cases of stunting, wasting and underweight
- A lower probability of 16 to 19% being considered very deficient in the development of their language, social emotions and motor development
- 16% fewer cases of anaemic children
- 64% fewer children with iron-related anemia (iron deficiency anemia)
Publications already validated the effect of lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) when mixed with food on linear growth of children and the prevention of the risks of various forms of malnutrition(Das JK et al., 2019) and the 27% reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality in children aged 6 to 24 months who consumed LNS, compared to children who did not receive them(Stewart et al., 2020).
Most of the studies selected in these meta-analyses were completed with products developed and tested in collaboration with Nutriset, which since its inception has been designing and developing new solutions to help treat and prevent malnutrition.
In partnership with the University of California at Davis, the University ofTampere, Finland, the IRSS in Burkina Faso, the University of Ghana, the College of Medicine and PPB in Malawi, Nutriset initiated the iLiNS project in 2008, funded mainly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Building on previous work on LNS, the project teams developed and tested new formulations through randomized controlled trials to enrich local diets.
The project followed indicators of growth, improvement in the health and development of children, as well as the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and their infants. (see 1000 first days approach)
This work has enabled Nutriset to develop the Enov® range including Enov'Nutributter Plus, for children aged 6 to 24 months, which significant action on the child's linear growth and its superiority to other products tested, regardless of the context of food insecurity, is demonstrated in articles published by the Lancet in March 2021.
Around 150 million children worldwide are affected by stunting and nearly 50 million suffer from wasting. Tens of millions of pregnant and lactating women do not have access to a balanced diet of vitamins and minerals essential to their health and growth.
Based on the scientific evidence of the effectiveness and acceptability of SQ-LNS, the World Food Programme has published the technical specifications of these products (LNS-SQ 20g) for its tenders. The Enov'Nutributter Plus product, offered by Nutriset, meets these requirements.
Our research partnerships and the establishment of the Plumpyfield network had already led to a "revolution" in the community's management of severe acute child malnutrition through Plumpy'Nut®, and its production as close as possible to the needs in the South.
This recognition by the scientific community of the positive effects of the SQ-LNS Enov'Nutributter Plus could profoundly transform approaches to prevent undernutrition, by stimulating the appropriation and scaling by international nutrition actors of this new nutritional solution, promoting healthy growth of children living in low- and middle-income countries.
The Lancet's recommendation is also a recognition of the work of the Nutriset Group, whose teams have been working for 35 years to design, develop and make available products of high nutritional value especially for the most vulnerable populations, to enable them to be healthy and live better through nutrition.