Nutrition to address disease related malnutrition
In case of disease, it can be difficult to achieve the optimum nutrient levels the body needs. This is evident for several micronutrients, especially for vitamin D.1,2 Several expert groups argue the need for increased protein intake for older individuals, and especially those with malnutrition and disease.3
Nutrition to address physical frailty
Older people with disease can enter a spiral of decline in which on-going inadequate nutrition leads to further muscle weakness. This increases their risk of becoming frail, leaving them vulnerable to stressors such as falls and fractures. Therefore, providing balanced nutrition to meet their nutritional needs is essential for their overall care. Differences in nutrient intake and status between sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic older adults were observed for protein and vitamin D amongst others.4,5 This suggests that frail older people with sarcopenia may have specific nutritional needs. If these needs are not addressed, patients risk losing their independence.