Practical Nutrition Guidelines for Individuals with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

  • Zoe E. DavidsonEmail author
  • Greg Rodden
  • Davi A. G. Mázala
  • Cynthia Moore
  • Carol Papillon
  • Angela J. Hasemann
  • Helen Truby
  • Robert W. Grange
Part of the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine book series (STEMCELL)


Appropriate nutrition is a fundamental contributor to the health and quality of life of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), yet there are few nutrition guidelines. DMD is an X-linked disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding the dystrophin protein resulting in its absence from a number of tissues. Striated and smooth muscles are essential to digestion, and both are dysfunctional in the absence of dystrophin. Obesity and underweight are prevalent within the condition. Nutritional assessment involves determining nutrient needs and reviewing anthropometric and biochemical data, physical findings, nutritional implications of medications, and the client history. The purpose of this chapter is to provide guidance to the members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team, but especially the physician and registered dietitian. Herein, we review existing research and make recommendations for nutritional assessment, including strategies to counter fundamental nutrition concerns for DMD boys. In addition, common nutrient constituents and supplements, reported to alleviate some deleterious aspects of DMD, and potential drug-nutrient interactions are reviewed.


Muscle disease Diet Digestion Energy balance Body composition Nutrient constituents Supplements Drug-nutrient interaction 



Body mass index


Daily recommended intake


Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry


Metabolic equivalents


No observed adverse effect level


Observed safety limit


Resting energy expenditure


Registered dietitian


Reactive oxygen species


Upper limit


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zoe E. Davidson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Greg Rodden
    • 2
  • Davi A. G. Mázala
    • 3
  • Cynthia Moore
    • 4
  • Carol Papillon
    • 5
  • Angela J. Hasemann
    • 6
  • Helen Truby
    • 1
  • Robert W. Grange
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Clinical SciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Human Nutrition, Foods, and ExerciseVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of KinesiologySchool of Public Health, University of Maryland College ParkCollege ParkUSA
  4. 4.Nutrition Counselling CenterUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  5. 5.Human Nutrition, Foods and ExerciseVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  6. 6.School of Clinical SciencesUniversity of Virginia Children’s HospitalCharlottesvilleUSA

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