Nutrition as treatment
There a number of individual studies have also reported beneficial effects of nutritional support in specific groups of patients e.g. Bastow et al. in patients with hip fractures. Supplementation was associated with reduced hospital stay, more rapid mobilisation, reduced rates of complications and lower mortality. Systematic reviews and meta-analysis of the use of oral nutritional supplements indicate that they do increase total energy and nutrient intakes in a variety of types of patients and that these supplementary feeds have little depressing effect upon voluntary food intake and in post-surgical patients may even increase appetite and voluntary food intake. A study by Mowe et al. suggested that at least in the elderly, malnutrition may be one factor in precipitating the illnesses that necessitate hospital admission. Compared to a matched sample of non-hospitalised elderly people, they found reduced nutrient intakes and deteriorating nutritional status in the period prior to admission.