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Supplements Plus Physical Activity May Help Malnutrition, Frailty in Mature Adults

As the American population ages, more and more studies are being conducted to determine how to make later life easier and more enjoyable. A recent study suggests that both malnutrition and frailty in mature adults could be helped by a combination of oral nutritional supplements and physical activity.


In this narrative review, the researchers suggested that frailty and malnutrition “should be considered simultaneously” because many patients suffer from both at the same time.


They also recommended that more and better research be conducted regarding treatment for malnutrition and frailty.


They identified three symptoms that are shared between the two conditions — weight loss, slowness, and weakness — and then called for simple tools and processes for screening, detecting, and treating the two conditions. The researchers also suggested that a combination of dietary and physical interventions may help improve the nutritional status and strength of frail, malnourished people.


Researchers from the University of Waterloo’s Nutrition and Aging Lab conducted the review. It was published on March 21, 2017, in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.


Oral nutritional supplements are multi-nutrient liquid, semi-solid or powder products that provide macronutrients and micronutrients aimed at increasing nutritional intake. Studies have shown that when used in the treatment of disease-related malnutrition, oral nutritional supplements may reduce infections, improve well-being and activities of daily living and reduce the number of pressure ulcers and poorly healing wounds.

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