Effect of a nutrient-enriched drink on dietary intake and nutritional status in institutionalised elderly.Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Oct; 63(10):1241-50.EJ
(1) To determine whether nutritional supplementation (energy and micronutrients) in institutionalised elderly has a positive effect on dietary intake and nutritional status. (2) To investigate whether individuals tend to compensate for the energy content of the intervention product by decreasing their habitual food consumption.
A 24-week, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, intervention trial in homes for the elderly (n=3), in nursing homes (n=3) and 'mixed' homes (n=3) in The Netherlands. Institutionalised elderly people (n=176) older than 60 years of age, with a body mass index < or =30 kg/m(2) and a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 10 points or higher, randomly received a nutrient-enriched drink or a placebo drink twice a day during 24 weeks in addition to their usual diet. Allocation to treatment took into account of sex, the Mini-Mental State Examination score and the plasma homocysteine level. Body weight and several nutrition-related analyses in fasting blood samples were measured in all participants. Data on dietary intake were collected in a subsample (n=66).
A significantly favourable effect (P<0.001) of the intervention drink was observed on vitamin intake, mineral intake and vitamin status in blood (for example, homocysteine decreased from 14.7 to 9.5 micromol/l in the intervention group as compared with that in the placebo group (17.2-15.9)). The difference in change in total energy intake between the two treatment groups was 0.8 MJ/day (P=0.166). Energy intake from food decreased in both groups to the same extent (-0.5 MJ/day). Therefore, this decrease cannot be considered as compensation for the energy content of the product.
This group of institutionalised elderly people does not compensate for the energy content of a concentrated nutritional supplement. Therefore, this supplement is effective for counteracting the development of malnutrition in this population.