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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Nutritional supplements for people being treated for active tuberculosis

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (67th percentile)

Mentioned by

2 policy sources
15 X users
7 Facebook pages
7 Wikipedia pages


133 Dimensions

Readers on

605 Mendeley
Nutritional supplements for people being treated for active tuberculosis
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd006086.pub4
Pubmed ID

Liesl Grobler, Sukrti Nagpal, Thambu D Sudarsanam, David Sinclair


Tuberculosis and malnutrition are linked in a complex relationship. Tuberculosis may cause undernutrition through increased metabolic demands and decreased intake, and nutritional deficiencies may worsen the disease, or delay recovery by depressing important immune functions. At present, there is no evidence-based nutritional guidance for adults and children being treated for tuberculosis. To assess the effects of oral nutritional supplements in people being treated with antituberculous drug therapy for active tuberculosis. We searched the Cochrane Infectious Disease Group Specialized Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; Issue 1, 2016), MEDLINE (from 1946 to 4 February 2016), EMBASE (from 1980 to 4 February 2016), LILACS (from 1982 to 4 February 2016), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT), the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), and the Indian Journal of Tuberculosis up to 4 February 2016, and checked the reference lists of all included studies. Randomized controlled trials that compared any oral nutritional supplement given for at least four weeks with no nutritional intervention, placebo, or dietary advice only for people being treated for active tuberculosis. The primary outcomes of interest were all-cause death, and cure at six and 12 months. Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, and extracted data and assessed the risk of bias in the included trials. We presented the results as risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous variables, and mean differences (MD) for continuous variables, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Where appropriate, we pooled data from trials with similar interventions and outcomes. We assessed the quality of the evidence using the Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Thirty-five trials, including 8283 participants, met the inclusion criteria of this review. Macronutrient supplementationSix trials assessed the provision of free food, or high-energy supplements. Only two trials measured total dietary intake, and in both trials the intervention increased calorie consumption compared to controls.The available trials were too small to reliably prove or exclude clinically important benefits on mortality (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.10 to 1.20; four trials, 567 participants, very low quality evidence), cure (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.59 to 1.41; one trial, 102 participants, very low quality evidence), or treatment completion (data not pooled; two trials, 365 participants, very low quality evidence).Supplementation probably produces a modest increase in weight gain during treatment for active tuberculosis, although this was not seen consistently across all trials (data not pooled; five trials, 883 participants, moderate quality evidence). Two small studies provide some evidence that quality of life may also be improved but the trials were too small to have much confidence in the result (data not pooled; two trials, 134 participants, low quality evidence). Micronutrient supplementationSix trials assessed multi-micronutrient supplementation in doses up to 10 times the dietary reference intake, and 18 trials assessed single or dual micronutrient supplementation.Routine multi-micronutrient supplementation may have little or no effect on mortality in HIV-negative people with tuberculosis (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.46 to 1.6; four trials, 1219 participants, low quality evidence), or HIV-positive people who are not taking antiretroviral therapy (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.23; three trials, 1429 participants, moderate quality evidence). There is insufficient evidence to know if supplementation improves cure (no trials), treatment completion (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.04; one trial, 302 participants, very low quality evidence), or the proportion of people who remain sputum positive during the first eight weeks (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.35; two trials, 1020 participants, very low quality evidence). However, supplementation may have little or no effect on weight gain during treatment (data not pooled; five trials, 2940 participants, low quality evidence), and no studies have assessed the effect on quality of life.Plasma levels of vitamin A appear to increase following initiation of tuberculosis treatment regardless of supplementation. In contrast, supplementation probably does improve plasma levels of zinc, vitamin D, vitamin E, and selenium, but this has not been shown to have clinically important benefits. Of note, despite multiple studies of vitamin D supplementation in different doses, statistically significant benefits on sputum conversion have not been demonstrated. There is currently insufficient research to know whether routinely providing free food, or energy supplements improves tuberculosis treatment outcomes, but it probably improves weight gain in some settings.Although blood levels of some vitamins may be low in people starting treatment for active tuberculosis, there is currently no reliable evidence that routinely supplementing above recommended daily amounts has clinical benefits.

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X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 605 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Chile 1 <1%
South Africa 1 <1%
India 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 600 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 100 17%
Student > Bachelor 78 13%
Researcher 55 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 46 8%
Student > Postgraduate 29 5%
Other 107 18%
Unknown 190 31%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 185 31%
Nursing and Health Professions 70 12%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 22 4%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 18 3%
Psychology 16 3%
Other 78 13%
Unknown 216 36%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 20. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 February 2021.
All research outputs
of 26,171,302 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 13,191 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 369,877 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 240 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 26,171,302 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,191 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.5. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 369,877 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 240 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 67% of its contemporaries.