Malnutrition

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 [2]. 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 [3].

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 appetite. Using nutritional supplements may:

  • increase muscle function and strength
  • reduce infections
  • reduce ill health
  • reduce mortality
  • increase 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 consists 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.

[1] WHO. What is malnutrition? 2016; Available from: https://www.who.int/features/qa/malnutrition/en/.

[2] Mowé, M., Behandling av underernæring hos eldre pasienter. Tidskrift for den norske legeforening, 2002(122): p. 815-118.

[3] 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.

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