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Nutritional Supplements during Acute Illness.

Doctors study the nutriutional aspect of food for about 1 day out of five
years, in the UK. No wonder they regard supplentation with sceptiscism,
and do they even know the difference between synthetic and ogranic
supplments? To view the food we eat as a medicine goes against the
grain, yet we are constantly exhorted to eat '5 fruits and veg daily',
without even considering whether the soil that grew these fruits/veg
were nutritionally depleted or not. To even raise the question smacks of
heresy against the powerful food industry, and their influence
with politicians who's very own figures taken since 1940 indicate a
steady decline in soil fertillity. Strange bedfellows!

Enjoy the research abstract below.


The study tested whether nutritional support of older patients during
acute illness leads to a clinical benefit.

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we randomly
assigned 445 hospitalized patients aged 65 to 92 years to receive either
a normal hospital diet plus 400 mL oral nutritional supplements (223
subjects) or a normal hospital diet plus a placebo (222 subjects) daily for
6 weeks. The composition of the supplement was such as to provide
995 kcal of energy and 100% of the Reference Nutrient Intakes for
vitamins and minerals for a healthy older person. Patients had three
assessments: at baseline, at 6 weeks, and at 6 months
post-randomization. Outcome measures were 6 months of disability,
non-elective readmission and length of hospital stay, discharge
destination, morbidity, and mortality.

Randomization to the supplement group led to a significant improvement
in nutritional status. Over 6 months, 65 patients (29%) in the supplements
group were readmitted to the hospital compared with 89 patients (40%)
in the placebo group (adjusted hazard ratio 0.68 [95% confidence
interval 0.49-0.94]). The mean length of hospital stay was 9.4 days in the
supplements group compared with 10.1 days in the placebo group.
Thirty-two people (14%) died in the supplement group compared with 19
people (9%) in the placebo group at 6 months (adjusted hazard ratio 1.65
[95% confidence interval, 0.93-2.92]).

Oral nutritional supplementation of acutely ill patients improved nutritional
status and led to a statistically significant reduction in the number of
non-elective readmissions.

The American Journal of Medicine
Volume 119, Issue 8 , August 2006, Pages 693-699

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