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A Journal on Internal Medicine


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Minerva Medica 2013 February;104(1):103-12

language: Italian

Retrospective study on the effects of a whey protein concentrate on body composition in 262 sarcopenic tube fed patients

Franceschelli A., Cappello A., Cappello G.

Dipartimento di Chirurgia Paride Stefanini, Servizio di Nutrizione Enterale Domiciliare Policlinico Umberto I, Roma, Italia


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Aim: As pointed in ESPEN guidelines on the use of bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), “body cell mass (BCM) is the protein rich compartment which is affected in catabolic states, and loss of BCM is associated with poor clinical outcome”. Whey proteins are known to improve lean mass in many conditions. We retrospectively evaluated the effects of a WP concentrate with high cysteine content (WPHCC) on BCM of 262 sarcopenic tube fed patients (pts).
Methods: Two hundred sixty-two sarcopenic tube fed pts (130 males, mean age 68,1±15,6 years) were given daily supplemental WPHCC (0.7±0.2 g/kg body weight) after their usual feeding formula, with the aim to improve their BCM. Each patient received a multifrequency impedance test before and after the beginning of WPHCC supplementation (mean follow-up: 4.2±2.8 months). Fifty percent of patients were affected by neurodegenerative diseases, 36% by cancer, 14% by other conditions.
Results: BCM, body weight and fat mass significantly improved (P<0.01) after treatment. No severe side effects were recorded. A slight increase in blood urea was observed.
Conclusion: In our population WPHCC have been safe and effective in improving BCM. WPHCC could be useful to improve BCM in sarcopenic tube fed pts, although renal function should be monitored.

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