COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a collective term for a group of chronic lung diseases, which lead to restricted airflow through the respiratory passages. Many COPD patients experience undesirable loss of muscle mass. Smartfish nutritional products help preserve these patients’ functions, body weight and muscle mass and improve quality of life.
About COPD and Cachexia
COPD patients often lose weight due to reduced food intake owing to diminished appetite as well as increased energy consumption both at rest and during activity due to laboured breathing. It may also be associated with systemic inflammation and increased protein metabolism, which is collectively referred to as pulmonary cachexia syndrome. A consequence of this is reduced muscle strength. Studies show that between 27-37% of COPD patients have cachexia . Low weight and low fat-free mass are associated with a poor prognosis of COPD.
Obese or overweight COPD patients may also develop cachexia, leading to reduced muscle strength. Unplanned or sudden weight reductions are important signals.
Nutritional treatment for COPD
It is recommended that malnourished patients with COPD follow an energy-dense diet rich in protein and take high doses of the marine fatty acids EPA and DHA. Nutritional treatment should be initiated in patients at risk of undernutrition as well as those already underweight (with a BMI below 21) and those who, regardless of weight, experience sudden weight loss.
 Farkas, J., et al., Cachexia as a major public health problem: frequent, costly, and deadly. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle, 2013. 4(3): p. 173-8.