Impact of treatment with rutf on plasma lipid profiles of severely malnourished pakistani children

Engy Shokry, Kamran Sadiq, Sajid Soofi, Atif Habib, Naveed Bhutto, Arjumand Rizvi, Imran Ahmad, Hans Demmelmair, Olaf Uhl, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Berthold Koletzko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


(1) Background: Little is known on impacts of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) treatment on lipid metabolism in children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). (2) Methods: We analyzed glycerophospholipid fatty acids (FA) and polar lipids in plasma of 41 Pakistani children with SAM before and after 3 months of RUTF treatment using gas chromatography and flow-injection analysis tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. Statistical analysis was performed using univariate, multivariate tests and evaluated for the impact of age, sex, breastfeeding status, hemoglobin, and anthropometry. (3) Results: Essential fatty acid (EFA) depletion at baseline was corrected by RUTF treatment which increased EFA. In addition, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) and the ratio of arachidonic acid (AA)/linoleic acid increased reflecting greater EFA conversion to LC-PUFA, whereas Mead acid/AA decreased. Among phospholipids, lysophosphatidylcholines (lyso.PC) were most impacted by treatment; in particular, saturated lyso.PC decreased. Higher child age and breastfeeding were associated with great decrease in total saturated FA (ΣSFA) and lesser decrease in monounsaturated FA and total phosphatidylcholines (ΣPC). Conclusions: RUTF treatment improves EFA deficiency in SAM, appears to enhance EFA conversion to biologically active LC-PUFA, and reduces lipolysis reflected in decreased ΣSFA and saturated lyso.PC. Child age and breastfeeding modify treatment-induced changes in ΣSFA and ΣPC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2163
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Essential fatty acids (EFA)
  • Glycerophospholipids
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines (LysoPC)
  • Metabolomics
  • Severe acute malnutrition (SAM)


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