What is medical nutrition?

Medical nutrition provides specialised nutritional support for patients who may benefit from dietary management of their specific disease, disorder or medical condition.

Medical Nutrition

Medical nutrition is for the dietary management of patients affected by a specific disease, disorder or medical condition.

It consists of specialised formulations, termed as ‘Foods for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP’s), to be used by patients, under the supervision of medical professionals, across a variety of care settings.

FSMP’s are not cures or treatments for the conditions in which they are utilised. Instead, they help to nutritionally manage the conditions. In Australia FSMP’s are regulated by Food Standards of Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) and the state food authorities[1]. Some FSMP’s are reimbursed by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, but not all. Below are some examples of FSMP’s available in Australia and the conditions in which they are utilised:

  • Neocate – Severe Allergy and Eosinophilic Oesophagitis
  • Fortisip – Malnutrition
  • Cubitan – Wound Management
  • Lophlex – Metabolic Conditions

Nutritional support can benefit the quality of life and positively influence the management of patient health in many disease areas. Medical nutrition interventions may be needed at any moment in life, but are more commonly seen in paediatric care, in adult critical care and in elderly care across the frailty spectrum.

 References

1. Food Standards of Australia and New Zealand. ‘Food for Special Medical Purposes’http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/nutrition/foodspecial/Pages/default.aspx [Accessed 27/08/2014]