Background: Malnutrition represents one of the most severe health problems in India. Free radicals play an important role in immunological response, which induces the oxidative surplus in severe acute malnutrition. Severe dietary deficiency of nutrients leads to increased oxidative stress in cellular compartments.
Aim: The goal of this study was to inspect impact of oxidative stress in the form of serum malondialdehyde as product of lipid peroxidation, vitamin E, zinc and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase in patients with severe acute malnutrition.
Material and Methods: Sixty severe acute malnutrition patients were studied before and after supplementation of antioxidants for one month, and their status were compared with those of 60 age and sex matched healthy controls.
The level of serum MDA was analyzed by the Kei Satoh method, serum vitamin E concentration was measured by Baker and Frank Method, serum zinc was measured by using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase was measured by Kajari Das Method.
Results: Significantly increased levels of serum malondialdehyde (p<0.001) were found in the patients as compared to those in controls, and significant depletions were found in the levels of serum vitamin E, zinc and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase in patients with severe acute malnutrition as compared to those in controls.
After supplementation of antioxidants for one month, the levels of malondialdehyde were found to be decreased significantly (p<0.001) and zinc and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase capacity levels were increased significantly (p<0.05). Also, there was a non–significant (p>0.05) increase in vitamin E levels as compared to those before supplementation results.
Conclusion: Harsh deficiency of various nutrients in severe acute malnutrition leads to generation of heavy oxidative stress. These effects may be minimized with supplementation of antioxidants.