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Publication numberUSRE36288 E
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/112,916
Publication dateAug 31, 1999
Filing dateJul 9, 1998
Priority dateJan 13, 1995
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA2166003A1, CA2166003C, DE69621963D1, DE69621963T2, EP0721742A1, EP0721742B1, US5589468, US5686429, USRE37020
Publication number09112916, 112916, US RE36288 E, US RE36288E, US-E-RE36288, USRE36288 E, USRE36288E
InventorsPaul M. Lin, Shen-Youn Chang, Chris Kruzel
Original AssigneeNestec Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mixture of protein, lipid and carbohydrates
US RE36288 E
Abstract
The present invention provides a method for providing nutrition to elderly patients. Pursuant to the present invention, the enteral composition includes a protein source, a lipid source, and a carbohydrate source. Preferably, the protein source includes at least 18% of the total calories. In an embodiment, the carbohydrate source includes a source of dietary fiber including a balance of soluble to insoluble fiber ratio of approximately 1:3. Still further, the composition of the present invention also includes increased levels of certain vitamins and minerals.
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Claims(21)
We claim:
1. A method for providing nutrition to an elderly patient comprising enterally administering to the patient an effective amount of a composition comprising:
a protein source including at least 18% of the calorie distribution of the composition;
a carbohydrate source;
a lipid source including a mixture of medium and long chain triglycerides; and
a dietary fiber source including soluble and insoluble fiber.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the composition provides at least 100% of the USRDA of vitamins and minerals in approximately 1200 calories.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein the long chain triglycerides are selected to provide a ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids of about 4:1 to about 0:1.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the composition includes a source of beta-carotene.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein the composition includes the following vitamins and minerals:
Vitamins 120 to 300 mg/L
Zinc 15 to 30 mg/L
Vitamin D 400 to 800 mg/L
Vitamin E 60 to 180 mg/L
Vitamin A 3000 to 6000 IU/L
Folic Acid 400 to 1600 μg/L
Vitamin B6 2 to 8 mg/L
Vitamin B12 6 to 18 μg/L
Thiamine 1.5 to 3 mg/L
Riboflavin 1.7 to 3.5 mg/L
Calcium 800 to 1600 mg/L
Selenium 50 to 150 mg/L.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein the composition has a caloric density of approximately 1.2 kcal/ml.
7. A method for providing nutrition to an elderly patient comprising enterally administering to the patient an effective amount of a composition comprising:
a protein source including at least 18% of the calorie distribution;
a carbohydrate source including a source of dietary fiber including soluble fiber and insoluble fiber; and
a lipid source including a mixture of medium and long chain triglycerides wherein the long chain triglycerides are selected to provide a ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids of about 4:1 to about 10:1.
8. The method of claim 7, wherein the protein source comprises at least 18% of the calorie distribution of the composition.
9. The method of claim 7 wherein the composition provides at least 100% of the USRDA of vitamins and minerals in approximately 1200 calories.
10. The method of claim 7 wherein the composition includes a source of beta-carotene.
11. The method of claim 7 wherein the composition includes the following vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin C 120 to 300 mg/L
Zinc 15 to 30 mg/L
Vitamin D 400 to 800 mg/L
Vitamin E 60 to 180 mg/L
Vitamin A 3000 to 6000 IU/L
Folic Acid 400 to 1600 μg/L
Vitamin B6 2 to 8 mg/L
Vitamin B12 6 to 18 μg/L
Thiamine 1.5 to 3 mg/L
Riboflavin 1.7 to 3.5 mg/L
Calcium 800 to 1600 mg/L
Selenium 50 to 150 mg/L.
12. The method of claim 7 wherein the composition has a caloric density of approximately 1.2 kcal/ml.
13. A method for providing nutrition to an elderly patient comprising enterally administering to the patient an effective amount of a composition comprising:
a protein source comprising at least 18% of calorie distribution;
a carbohydrate source including a source of dietary fiber including soluble and insoluble fiber;
a lipid source including a mixture of medium and long chain triglycerides;
a vitamin and mineral source including the following vitamins and minerals in their respective amounts:
Vitamin C 120 to 300 mg/L
Zinc 15 to 30 mg/L
Vitamin D 400 to 800 mg/L
Vitamin E 60 to 180 mg/L
14. The method of claim 13 wherein the long chain triglycerides are selected to provide a ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids of about 4:1 to about 10:1.
15. The method of claim 13 wherein the composition has a caloric density of approximately 1.2 kcal/mL.
16. The method of claim 13 wherein the composition includes at least 100% of USRDA of vitamins and minerals in approximately 1200 calories. .Iadd.
17. A method for providing nutrition to an elderly patient comprising enterally administering to the patient an effective amount of a composition comprising:
a protein source including at least 18% of the calorie distribution of the composition;
a carbohydrate source including a source of dietary fiber, the source of dietary fiber including a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers;
a lipid source; and
a source of beta-carotene. .Iaddend..Iadd.18. The method of claim 17 wherein the composition includes approximately 2 to 10 mg/L of beta-carotene. .Iaddend..Iadd.19. The method of claim 17 further comprising a vitamin and mineral source, the vitamin and mineral source providing at least 100% of the USRDA of vitamins and minerals in 1200 calories. .Iaddend..Iadd.20. The method of claim 17 further comprising a vitamin and mineral source, the vitamin and mineral source including the following vitamins and minerals in their respective amounts:
Vitamin C 120 to 300 mg/L
Zinc 15 to 30 mg/L
Vitamin D 400 to 800 mg/L
Vitamin E 60 to 180 mg/L
Vitamin A 3000 to 6000 IU/L
Folic Acid 400 to 1600 μg/L
Vitamin B6 2 to 8 mg/L
Vitamin B12 6 to 18 μg/L
Thiamine 1.5 to 3 mg/L
Riboflavin 1.7 to 3.5 mg/L
Calcium 800 to 1600 mg/L
Selenium 50 to 150 mg/L. .Iaddend..Iadd.21. The method of claim 17 wherein the composition has a caloric density of approximately 1.2 kcal/mL. .Iaddend..Iadd.22. The method of claim 17 wherein the lipid source includes a mixture of medium and long chain triglycerides, the lipid source including at least 20% medium chain triglycerides and the long chain triglycerides are selected to provide a ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids of 4:1 to 10:1. .Iaddend..Iadd.23. A method for providing nutrition to an elderly patient comprising enterally administering to the patient an effective amount of a composition comprising:
a protein source including at least 18% of the calorie distribution;
a carbohydrate source including a source of dietary fiber, the source of dietary fiber including a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers;
a lipid source; and
a vitamin and mineral source providing at least 100% of the USRDA of vitamins and minerals in 1200 calories. .Iaddend..Iadd.24. The method of claim 23 wherein the composition includes approximately 2 to 10 mg/L of beta-carotene. .Iaddend..Iadd.25. The method of claim 23 further comprising a vitamin and mineral source, the vitamin and mineral source including the following vitamins and minerals in their respective amounts:
Vitamin C 120 to 300 mg/L
Zinc 15 to 30 mg/L
Vitamin D 400 to 800 IU/L
Vitamin E 60 to 180 IU/L
Vitamin A 3000 to 6000 IU/L
Folic Acid 400 to 1600 μg/L
Vitamin B6 2 to 8 mg/L
Vitamin B12 6 to 18 μg/L
Thiamine 1.5 to 3 mg/L
Riboflavin 1.7 to 3.5 mg/L
Calcium 800 to 1600 mg/L
Selenium 50 to 150 mg/L. .Iaddend..Iadd.26. The method of claim 23 wherein the composition has a caloric density of approximately 1.2 kcal/mL. .Iaddend..Iadd.27. The method of claim 23 wherein the lipid source includes a mixture of medium and long chain triglycerides, the lipid source including at least 20% medium chain triglycerides and the long chain triglycerides are selected to provide a ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids of 4:1 to 10:1. .Iaddend..Iadd.28. A method for providing nutrition to an elderly patient comprising enterally administering to the patient an effective amount of a composition comprising:
a protein source including at least 18% of the caloric distribution;
a carbohydrate source including a source of dietary fiber, the source of dietary fiber including a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers;
a lipid source including long chain triglycerides that are selected to provide a ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids of 4:1 to 10:1; and
a source of beta-carotene. .Iaddend..Iadd.29. The method of claim 28 wherein the composition includes approximately 2 to 10 mg/L of beta-carotene. .Iaddend..Iadd.30. The method of claim 28 further comprising a vitamin and mineral source, the vitamin and mineral source providing at least 100% of the USRDA of vitamins and minerals in 1200 calories. .Iaddend..Iadd.31. The method of claim 28 further comprising a vitamin and mineral source, the vitamin and mineral source including the following vitamins and minerals in their respective amounts:
Vitamin C 120 to 300 mg/L
Zinc 15 to 30 mg/L
Vitamin D 400 to 800 IU/L
Vitamin E 60 to 180 IU/L
Vitamin A 3000 to 6000 IU/L
Folic Acid 400 to 1600 μg/L
Vitamin B6 2 to 8 mg/L
Vitamin B12 6 to 18 μg/L
Thiamine 1.5 to 3 mg/L
Riboflavin 1.7 to 3.5 mg/L
Calcium 800 to 1600 mg/L
Selenium 50 to 150 mg/L. .Iaddend..Iadd.32. The method of claim 28 wherein the composition has a caloric density of approximately 1.2 kcal/mL. .Iaddend..Iadd.33. The method of claim 28 wherein the lipid source includes a mixture of medium and long chain triglycerides, the lipid source including at least 20% medium chain triglycerides. .Iaddend..Iadd.34. A method for providing nutrition to an elderly patient comprising enterally administering to the patient an effective amount of a composition comprising:
a protein source comprising at least 18% of the calorie distribution of the composition;
a carbohydrate source including a source of dietary fiber, the source of dietary fiber including a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers, the carbohydrate source comprising approximately 48% to 55% of the calorie distribution of the composition;
a lipid source comprising approximately 26% to 36% of the calorie distribution of the composition;
a source of beta-carotene; and
a vitamin and mineral source providing at least 100% of the USRDA of
vitamins and minerals in 1200 calories. .Iaddend..Iadd.35. A method for correcting protein energy malnutrition in an elderly patient comprising enterally administering to the elderly patient an effective amount of a composition comprising:
a protein source comprising including a source of dietary fiber, the source of dietary fiber including a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers;
a lipid source; and
a source of beta-carotene. .Iaddend..Iadd.36. A method for providing increased energy and nutrition but a minimal amount of fluid in an elderly patient comprising enterally administering to the elderly patient an effective amount of a composition comprising:
a protein source including at least 18% of the calorie distribution;
a carbohydrate source including a source of dietary fiber, the source of dietary fiber including a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers;
a lipid source; and
a vitamin and mineral source providing at least 100% of the USRDA of vitamins and minerals in 1200 calories. .Iaddend.
Description

This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/372,558, filed Jan. 13, 1995 and now U.S. Pat. No. 5,589,468.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the treatment and nutritional support of patients. More specifically, the present invention relates to providing nutrition to elderly patients.

Americans greater than 65 years old were, at the turn of the century, 4% of the population; currently, they are greater than 12% of the population. Though only 12% of our population, the elderly account for greater than 40% of our acute hospital bed days, buy greater than 30% of all prescription drugs and spend 30% of our greater than 600 billion dollar health budget. Still further, it is estimated that in 2030, greater than 70 million Americans (1:5) will be over the age of 65, and the "over 85's" are expected to experience the highest percentage increase of all. The Merck Manual, 16th Edition, p. 2540.

As the average age of the population increases, obtaining a better understanding of the unique aspects of aging in relation to nutritional needs and treatment is imperative. Many physiologic functions decline progressively throughout adult life and have an impact on nutrition. For instance, a reduction in the number of functioning cells and the resultant slowing of metabolic processes results in a decrease in caloric requirements among the elderly. Also, the reduction in physical activity that generally accompanies aging further decreases energy requirements.

Merely decreasing the total caloric intake of an elderly patient may adversely affect the required nutrition of the patient. When the total caloric intake is reduced, the remaining food intake must carefully insure a properly balanced intake of proteins, vitamins and minerals. To reduce caloric intake in the elderly, consumption of "empty" calories (i.e. fats) must be reduced and consumption of nutrient-dense foods (i.e. carbohydrates and proteins) must be increased.

While the nutritional needs of the mature adult patient differ from adult patients, in the health care settings, standard nutritional formulas are the primary form of elemental nutrition currently being used for the elderly. Naturally, standard formulas do not take into effect the known nutritional needs of the elderly patients. These standard nutritional products must be supplemented with key micronutrients to compensate for common deficiencies and metabolic changes of the elderly patient. Moreover, since the elderly have a diminished capacity to manage a fluid load, standard formulas must be modified to produce a calorically dense formulation that will provide increased energy and nutrition with a minimum amount of fluid.

Therefore, a need exists for a nutritional formula designed to meet the nutritional needs of elderly patients.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a nutritional composition designed for elderly patients. More specifically, the present invention provides a method for providing nutrition to an elderly patient.

In an embodiment, the method of the present invention includes the steps of administering to the patient an effective amount of a composition including a protein source making up at least 18% of the calorie distribution of the composition; a carbohydrate source; and a lipid source including a mixture of medium and long chain triglycerides.

In an embodiment, the composition provides at least 100% of the USRDA of vitamins and minerals.

In the embodiment, the composition includes a source of dietary fiber having a soluble fiber to insoluble fiber ratio of approximately 4:1 to 1:4. Preferably, the soluble fiber constitutes approximately 30% of the dietary fiber source.

In an embodiment, the composition includes increased levels of key vitamins and minerals found to be deficient in the institutionalized elderly. Specifically, the composition includes increased levels of vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium and selenium.

In an embodiment, the composition further includes an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of approximately 4:1 to 10:1.

In another embodiment, the method of the present invention includes the step of administering to the patient an effective amount of a composition including a protein source, a carbohydrate source including a source of dietary fiber having a soluble fiber to insoluble fiber ratio of about 4:1 to 1:4 and a lipid source including a mixture of medium and long chain triglycerides.

Still further, in another embodiment, the method of the present invention includes the step of administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of the composition comprising a protein source, a carbohydrate source, a lipid source including a mixture of medium and long chain triglycerides, and a vitamin and mineral source including key vitamin and minerals found to be deficient in the institutionalized elderly. Specifically, the composition includes the following vitamins and minerals and their respective amounts: vitamin C containing from about 120 to 300 mg/L; zinc containing from about 15 to 30 mg/L; vitamin D containing from about 400 to 800 mg/L; vitamin E containing from about 60 to 180 mg/L; vitamin A containing from about 3000 to 6000 IU/L; folic acid containing from about 400 to 1600 μg/L; vitamin B6 containing from about 2 to 8 mg/L; vitamin B12 containing from about 6 to 8 μg/L; thiamine containing from about 1.5 to 3 mg/L; riboflavin containing from about 1.7 to 3.5 mg/L; calcium containing from about 800 to 1600 mg/L and selenium containing from about 50 to 150 μg/L.

An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a nutritional composition that is ready-to-use, nutritionally complete, and contains proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals in proportions appropriate for elderly patients.

Moreover, an advantage of the present invention is that it provides a nutritional diet for tube and oral use designed for optimal tolerance and absorption in elderly patients.

Another advantage of the present invention is that it provides a composition containing higher levels of key micronutrients to compensate for common deficiencies and metabolic changes in elderly when compared with standard formulas.

Furthermore, an advantage of the present invention is that it eliminates the need for vitamin supplementation and meets regulatory requirements of the elderly.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is that it includes an ideal fiber balance to promote good bowel function in aging patients. More specifically, the ideal fiber level of the present invention avoids constipation and prevents impaction.

Still another advantage of the present invention is that it provides a composition with increased protein levels to account for the increased needs often found in the institutionalized elderly. The composition of the present invention addresses the increased repletion requirements for protein-energy malnutrition in the older patient.

Moreover, an advantage of the present invention is that it provides a calorically dense formulation that allows for increased energy and nutrition with a minimal amount of fluid. Uniquely, the composition of the present invention meets or exceeds U.S. RDA for vitamin and minerals in one liter. As a result, the composition of the present invention is appropriate for fluid-restricted patients and is designed to accommodate slower gastric emptying, which may be seen in the elderly.

Additional features and advantages of the present invention are described in, and will be apparent from, the detailed description of the presently preferred embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Nutritional support of elderly requires prevention, recognition and treatment of nutritional depletion that may occur with aging and illness. The methods of the present invention are designed specifically to provide nutritional support to elderly patients. In this regard, the composition of the present invention is designed to meet the energy needs of an elderly patient in a reduced volume.

The protein source of the present invention provides approximately 16% to 25% of the total calories of the composition. In an embodiment, the protein source is caseinate. In an embodiment, the protein source comprises at least 18% of the total calories of the composition. Relative to calorie needs, the elderly patient needs an increased amount of protein. Therefore, the composition of the present invention includes slightly higher protein levels than standard formulas to account for increased needs often found in the institutionalized elderly.

The inventors believe that the increased protein in the composition of the present invention helps correct the protein-energy malnutrition often found in elderly patients. The higher intake of protein may correct immunologic deficiencies associated with protein depletion. Moreover, the higher intake may prevent skin breakdown, which is highly correlated with protein depletion. Still further, the higher protein level promotes more rapid restoration of body protein stores that decrease with age.

Carbohydrates provide approximately 48% to 55% of the caloric content of the composition. In an embodiment, a carbohydrate source is approximately 52% of the caloric content of the composition. Carbohydrates are an important energy source for the elderly patient as they are readily absorbed and utilized. A number of carbohydrates can be used including maltodextrin or sucrose.

In addition to simple sugars, the carbohydrate source, in an embodiment, includes a source of dietary fiber. Numerous types of dietary fiber are available. Dietary fiber passes through the small intestine undigested by enzymes and represents a kind of natural and necessary laxative. Suitable sources of dietary fiber, among others, include soy, oat or gum arabic.

The total fiber contained in the composition is approximately 8 to 15 g/L. While fiber is necessary for the elderly population since constipation is a chronic problem, the composition of the present invention contains less total fiber than other products to alleviate problems associated with impaction and the increased water requirements associated with high amounts of fiber. Some older adults may not easily tolerate large amounts of fiber without adaption. In fact, patients on narcotics or with ultramotility may be at risk for bowel obstruction, especially with the administration of excess fibers. Moreover, high fiber intake may bind calcium, reducing absorption--particularly given the high incidence of atrophic gastritis in the elderly. In a preferred embodiment, the composition includes approximately 10 g/L of total fiber.

In an embodiment, the dietary fiber is a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber. The inventors believe that a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers may prevent or reduce constipation and lower serum cholesterol and blood glucose in the elderly. In an embodiment, the soluble to insoluble ratio of the composition is approximately 4:1 to 1:4. In a preferred embodiment, the soluble to insoluble fiber ratio is approximately 1:3.

In the soluble/insoluble mixture, soluble fiber provides gut fuel by providing short chain free fatty acids in the large intestine. Additionally, the inventors believe that soluble fiber retains moisture. As a result thereof, while the total amount of fiber provided by the composition of the present invention is less than other standard products, the amount of soluble fiber provided is higher.

The lipid source of the present invention includes a mixture of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) and long chain triglycerides (LCT). The lipid source of the present invention is approximately 26% to about 36% of the caloric content of the composition. In an embodiment, the lipid source is approximately 30% of the caloric content of the composition.

The lipid source includes at least 20% from medium chain triglycerides. Such medium chain triglycerides are easily absorbed and metabolized in the elderly patient's body. The remainder of the lipid source is a mixture of long chain triglycerides. Suitable sources of long chain triglycerides are canola oil, corn oil, soy lecithin and residual milk fat. The lipid profile containing such long chain triglycerides is designed to have a polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-6 (n-6) to omega-3 (n-3) ratio of approximately 4:1 to 10:1. The proposed ratio of n-6:n-3 is designed to prevent suppression of the immune system caused by excessive n-6 fatty acids.

In an embodiment, the composition of the present invention includes a source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene meets a portion of the required vitamin A, thereby meeting micronutrient requirements in a small caloric volume. It is also an important nutrient with anti-oxidant properties. For example, it may reduce or mitigate symptoms of heart disease in aging adults. Adequate amounts of beta-carotene may also protect against cataracts. The composition preferably includes approximately 2 to 10 mg/L of beta-carotene. In an embodiment, beta-carotene is present in an amount of approximately 6 mg/L.

Still further, the present invention, in an embodiment, includes a specialized vitamin and mineral profile. The composition includes at least 100% of the USRDA of all vitamins and minerals. Moreover, the composition includes higher levels of the key vitamins and minerals found to be deficient in the institutionalized elderly. Vitamin-mineral deficiencies are often associated with protein-energy malnutrition in the elderly. The increased levels of vitamins and minerals exceed U.S. RDA (for normal, healthy adults) to meet the enhanced needs of the geriatric adults. As a result, utilizing the composition of the present invention eliminates the need for vitamin and mineral supplementation.

Specifically, the composition of the present invention preferably includes increased levels of vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and selenium.

Vitamin C is preferably present in an amount of approximately 120 to 300 mg/L. Blood levels of vitamin C tend to decline with age. In fact, greater than 40% of elderly may take in less than half of the U.S. RDA for vitamin C. Even mild deficiencies may play a role in the pathogenesis of declining neurocognitive function in aging adults. Increased doses may be associated with increased immune function and exert a protective effect against cancer, heart disease and cataracts. In an embodiment, vitamin C is present in an amount of approximately 240 mg/L.

Zinc is necessary to maintain skin integrity, rate of epithelialization and collagen strength. Since intake and intestinal absorption decrease with age, low serum levels have been documented in the elderly. Supplementation with adequate zinc has been shown to restore immune function. The composition of the present invention includes from approximately 15 to 50 mg/L of zinc. In an embodiment, zinc is present in an amount of approximately 24 mg/L.

Vitamin D is necessary for adequate phosphorous absorption. Likewise, calcium absorption is impaired in the elderly and higher levels of vitamin D help with absorption and decrease hyperthyroidism. Still further, a deficiency of vitamin D caused by lack of sun exposure may be common in the institutionalized elderly. Moreover, current RDA of the vitamin may be too low for the elderly to maintain serum parathyroid hormone concentrations and healthy bone mass. The composition of the present invention includes from approximately 400 to 800 IU/L of vitamin D. In an embodiment, vitamin D is present in approximately 600 IU/L.

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and may protect against age-related accumulation of free-radical reactions and greater lipid peroxidation that may contribute to degeneration and disease. Supplementation with vitamin E has been shown to enhance cell-mediated immunity in the elderly. The composition of the present invention includes from approximately 60 to 180 IU/L of vitamin E. In an embodiment, vitamin E is present in an amount of approximately 100 IU/L.

The amount of vitamin A, also an antioxidant, is increased as compared with other similar formulas, Vitamin A acts as a free radical scavenger and is present in the composition in approximately 3000 to 6000 IU/L. In an embodiment, vitamin A is present in approximately 4000 IU/L.

Vitamin B6 and folic acid are at increased levels because vitamin B6 and folic acid absorption in the elderly is inefficient. Also, there is a high degree of deficiency of these in the elderly population. In fact, vitamin B6 deficiency has been associated with neurological changes and immunocompetence in the elderly. The composition of the present invention includes from approximately 2 to 8 mg/L of vitamin B6 and approximately 400 to 1600 μg/L of folic acid. In an embodiment, vitamin B6 and folic acid are present in amounts of approximately 4 mg/L and 1200 μg/L, respectively.

Vitamin B12 is at an increased level in the composition due to deficiencies in the elderly from atrophic gastritis and impaired absorption. Serum B12 is known to decline with age. The composition of the present invention includes from approximately 6 to 18 μg/L of vitamin B12. In an embodiment, vitamin B12 is present in an amount of approximately 12 μg/L.

Thiamine (B1) transmits impulses for central and peripheral nerve cell function. Decreased intake of thiamine may be associated with neuromuscular malfunctions and heart failure. The composition of the present invention includes from approximately 1.5 to 3 mg/L of thiamine. In an embodiment, thiamine is present in an amount of approximately 2.25 mg/L.

Adequate amounts of riboflavin (B2), the level of which is also increased in the composition of the present invention, are required for proper energy and protein utilization. Deficiency of riboflavin may result in skin breakdown. The composition of the present invention includes from approximately 1.7 to 3.5 mg/L of riboflavin. In an embodiment, riboflavin is present in an amount of approximately 2.55 mg/L.

As stated above, calcium absorption is impaired in the elderly. Thus, increased levels of calcium are included in the composition of the present invention. Calcium is required for tissue repair. Moreover, calcium is important in slowing/preventing bone loss in postmenopausal osteoporosis. Increased intake may be required for adequate calcium balance. The composition of the present invention includes from approximately 800 to 1600 mg/L of calcium. In an embodiment, calcium is present in an amount of approximately 1250 mg/L.

Still further, selenium is at an increased level in the composition of the present invention. Selenium acts as an anti-oxidant and an immune stimulant. It also has some anti-inflammatory action. The composition of the present invention includes from approximately 50 to 150 mg/L of selenium. In an embodiment, selenium is present in an amount of approximately 80 μg/L.

The composition of the present invention is a ready-to-use enteral formulation. The composition can be used as a supplement or for total enteral nutritional support. The composition can be tube-fed to a patient, or fed by having the patient drink same. Preferably, the caloric density of the composition is 1.2 kcal/ml and yields a non-protein calorie-to-nitrogen ratio of 114:1 to promote positive nitrogen balance.

By way of example, and not limitation, an example of a suitable composition that may be used pursuant to the present invention is as follows:

The composition includes the following ingredients: protein: caseinate; carbohydrate: maltodextrin; fat: canola oil, corn oil, soy lecithin, and residue milk fat; dietary fiber; water; vitamin A; beta-carotene; vitamin D; vitamin E; vitamin K; vitamin C; thiamine (B1); riboflavin (B2); niacin; vitamin B6 ; folic acid; pantoth. acid; vitamin B12 ; biotin; choline; taurine; carnitine; calcium;phosphorus; magnesium; zinc; iron; copper; manganese; iodine; sodium; potassium; chloride; chromium; molybdenum; and selenium.

The composition of the present invention has the following nutrient composition (per 1200 calories):

______________________________________Nutrient Composition         Amount        % U.S. RDA*______________________________________Protein       54       g        120Carbohydrate  156      g        **Fat***        40.6     g        **Dietary Fiber 10                **Water         742      ml       **Vitamin A     4000     IU       280***Beta-Carotene 6        mg       **Vitamin D     600      IU       150Vitamin E     100      IU       333Vitamin K     80       mcg      **Vitamin C     240      mg       400Thiamine (B1)         2.25     mg       150Riboflavin (B2)         2.55     mg       150Niacin        40       mg       200Vitamin B6         4        mg       200Folic Acid    1200     mcg      300Pantoth. Acid 15       mg       150Vitamin B12         12       mcg      200Biotin        400      mcg      133Choline       452      mg       **Turine        100      mg       **Carnitine     100      mg       **Calcium       1250     mg       125Phosphorus    1000     mg       100Magnesium     400      mg       100Zinc          24       mg       160Iron          18       mg       100Copper        2        mg       100Magnesium     4        mg       **Iodine        150      mcg      100Sodium        763      mg       **Potassium     1560     mg       **Chloride      1296     mg       **Chromium      100      mcg      **Molybdenum    150      mcg      **Selenium      80       mcg      **______________________________________ *U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance for Adults and Children 4 or More Years of Age **U.S. RDA Not Established. ***MCT Provides 8.12 Grams ****Vitamin A Calculated as a Combination of Retinol (80% of U.S. RDA per 1000 ml) Plus BetaCarotene. Conversion of BetaCarotene to Retinol Occurs in the Body Up to a Maximum of 10,000 IU per 100 ml (200% of U.S. RDA).

It will be understood that various modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and without diminishing its attendant advantages. It is therefore intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.

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