From Supportive to Disease-Related Nutrition – Researching the future of Medical Nutrition.
Nutricia’s success in serving doctors and patients has been built on our well-established expertise in specialised nutrition to support the vulnerable, across the age range. Advances in nutritional science have now opened up the potential for nutrition to play a greater role in the management of particular diseases and conditions. Beyond the special dietary support of malnourished patients, we want to develop solutions that help meet the particular nutritional needs of certain patients, address some disease symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, or even help to delay the progression of disease.
NUTRITIONAL MANAGEMENT OF EARLY ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Our long-standing research project on Alzheimer’s Disease is a recent example of this expanded horizon. Over a period of 10 years, we have built up in-depth expertise in the role of nutrients in brain function. Numerous preclinical studies in collaboration with leading scientific experts worldwide have now resulted in a new concept for the dietary management of patients with early Alzheimer’s disease. The concept contains a unique, patented combination of nutrients designed to meet the special nutritional needs of such patients. An extensive clinical trial programme is ongoing, and the results of two published studies have demonstrated the beneficial role of the concept in supporting patients with early Alzheimer's disease.
RELIEF OF SWALLOWING DIFFICULTIES
We have recently achieved significant advances in the field of dysphagia with Nutilis, a thickening powder that has amylaseresistance features for patients with swallowing disorders. Thickening liquid foods reduces the risk of choking and thus promotes safer swallowing. The challenge was to give the starch-based powder improved amylaseresistance in the mouth. Our technologists designed a new concept using their fundamental understanding of the physico-chemical and rheological properties of hydrocolloids and their interactions. The safety of Nutilis has been confirmed in a tolerance trial, while in vitro and in vivo efficacy studies demonstrated a better-maintained consistency of foods in the mouth.
ADDRESSING LACK OF APPETITE
One of our greatest challenges in helping very sick or very elderly patients is to address their lack of appetite. Their inability to eat in sufficient quantity leads to a 'protein gap' and eventual undernutrition. To address this compliance issue, we developed the 'Compact' concept for our Fortimel, Fortisip and Nutridrink brands, offering more nutrition per ml than any other standard oral nutritional supplement - a nutritionally complete formulation packing 12g of protein and 300kcal into one 125ml bottle. With the most nutrition in the smallest bottle, Compact is a breakthrough for vulnerable patients and those who care for them.