Malnutrition is a serious problem, and a large proportion of patients are diagnosed as being malnourished when they are assessed on admission to hospital.
20–50% of institutionalised patients are malnourished . A study published in the Clinical Nutrition Journal estimates that 33 million people are at risk of malnutrition in Europe, and the estimated cost is 170 billion euros per year .
There are several factors that often lead to malnutrition. Age, dementia, psychiatric conditions, chronic lifestyle diseases, difficulty of living alone, impaired general health and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) are well-known causes of malnutrition. Malnutrition increases the risk of complications, affects the immune system, and increases the risk of infections.
Nutritional treatment of malnutrition
Omega-3 and vitamin D have been shown to have a positive effect on the immune function. The acidity from juice stimulates salivation and may stimulate the appetite. Using nutritional supplements may:
- increase muscle function and strength
- reduce infections
- reduce ill-health
- reduce mortality
- increase the quality of life and provide a greater sense of well-being.
Malnutrition is often characterized by an unbalanced consumption of food products. In order to avoid malnutrition, it is important to maintain a varied diet containing all the nutrients the body needs. Smartfish Medical Nutrition products consist of a well-balanced ratio of fat, carbohydrates and protein, as well as micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) naturally occurring from the ingredients. Especially important is the content of the marine Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which are considered essential fatty acids, meaning they only come through the diet.
 Mowé, M., Behandling av underernæring hos eldre pasienter. Tidskrift for den norske legeforening, 2002(122): p. 815-118.
 Elia, M., et al., A systematic review of the cost and cost effectiveness of using standard oral nutritional supplements in community and care home settings. Clinical Nutrition, 2016. 35(1): p. 125-137.