General Summary and Conclusion

Most of the hospitalized patients are malnourished. Optimal nutritional support to the patients helps speedy recovery, facilitates effectiveness of medical treatment, brings down the hospitalization expenses, and reduces the morbidity and mortality rate. Hence, provision of optimal nutritional support to the patients either enterally (feeding via gut) or parenterally (infusing sterile nutrients via vein, thereby bypassing the gut) is a part of medical treatment in most of the health care facilities. Although parenteral nutrition support could be lifesaving in certain situations, its prolonged use may not be desirable, because it fails to maintain gut physiology and functions. On the other hand, because enteral nutrition support maintains gut integrity and functions, patients having a fully or partially functional gut but unable to nourish themselves optimally are encouraged to receive enteral nutrition support. Patients suffering from cancer, renal failure, liver failure, comatose, sepsis, burn injury, and those admitted to the intensive care units among others often require enteral nutrition support. Enteral nutrition support is provided through specially designed formulae known as enteral foods. Enteral foods are a class of liquid medical foods fed to the patients either orally, or through a feeding tube under medical supervision. The importance of enteral nutrition support to the patient in hospital and home is well recognized, and an array of general-cagory (standard) and disease-specific (to meet the nutritional demands of various disease conditions) enteral foods has been developed and marketed globally.

Most of the enteral foods currently marketed are prepared by blending defined- or chemically-defined food ingredients such as maltodextrin, sucrose, glucose, peptides, amino acids, and glycerides. They are usually priced high and lack the natural stimulants and protectants that are present in normal foods. Further, to improve the acceptability and to mask the chemical nature of the ingredients, these foods are often artificially flavored and excessively sweetened. To overcome these drawbacks associated with defined ingredient-based enteral foods, a need was felt to develop enteral foods akin to natural foods that could be afforded by the majority of the needy patients. With these objectives, research work on development of medical foods (enteral foods) based on natural ingredients was undertaken, which is presented in this book.


Lactic Acid Bacterium Mung Bean Barley Malt Parenteral Nutrition Support Natural Food Source 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

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