F. Neelemaat, M.A. van Bokhorst-de van der Schueren, H.J. Bontkes, J.C. Seidell, S. Hougee, A. Thijs

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Rationale: Both malnutrition and advanced age are known to negatively impact the immune system. This exploratory randomized controlled trial studied the effects of a composed nutritional intervention on immune markers, endocrine markers and a selection of micronutrients in malnourished ill elderly patients. Methods: Malnourished elderly patients (>60) newly admitted to a university medical center were randomised to receive either usual care plus a nutritional intervention (energy and protein enriched diet, comprising oral nutritional support, calcium-vitamin D supplement, dietetary counselling) commencing in the hospital and continued for 3 months post-discharge or usual care alone. Immune markers (interleukins, complement, C-reactive protein, albumin, TNF-alpha), endocrine markers (growth factors) and micronutrients (iron, ferritin, vitamin A, E and D), were measured at baseline and at 3 months following hospital discharge. Results: 210 patients were included in this study. For 89 patients (46 intervention, 43 control) both measurements were available. This selection of patients were in a better health status compared to the total group. At baseline, most of the analysed immune markers, endocrine markers and micronutrients showed values within the normal range, with no statistically significant differences between groups. The majority of immune markers, endocrine markers and micronutrients tended to improve over time, without statistically significant differences between groups, except for vitamin D (p = 0.008), confirming the supplementation in the intervention group. Conclusion: A 3 months nutritional intervention in malnourished ill elderly patients could not demonstrate measurable additional influence on measured immune markers, endocrine markers and selected micronutrients at three months compared to baseline. The improved outcomes were presumably caused by patients' improved health status during time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClinical Nutrition Supplements
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

Publication series

NameClinical Nutrition Supplements

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