Category Archives: Nutrition


Alcohol is a popular ‘nutrient’ consumed in large quantities all over the world. In many countries, alcohol consumption is becoming a major problem. Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is oxidized in the following steps (Information box 3.4) to acetaldehyde. 1 Acetaldehyde is then converted to acetate mainly in the liver mitochondria. 2 Acetate is released into the blood and oxidized by peripheral tissues to c

Food allergy and food intolerance

Many patients ascribe their symptoms to food allergy or food sensitivity and there are a number of clinics in the UK where such sufferers are seen and started on exclusion diets. The scientific evidence that food does harm in most instances is incomplete, but certainly some evidence supports the following disease ‘entities’: ACUTE HYPERSENSITIVITY. Some patients develop acute reactions to a partic

Central venous catheter placement

A silicone catheter is placed into a central vein, usually using the infraclavicular approach to the subclavian vein. The skin-entry site should be dressed carefully and not disturbed unless there is a suggestion of catheter-related sepsis. Complications of catheter placement include central vein thrombosis, pneumothorax and embolism, but the major problem is catheter-related sepsis. Organisms, mainly staphy

Nutritional support in the hospital patient

Nutritional support is now recognized as being necessary in many hospitalized patients. The pathophysiology and hallmarks of malnutrition have been described earlier; here the forms of nutritional support that are available are discussed. PRINCIPLES Some form of nutritional supplementation is required in those patients who cannot eat, should not eat, will not eat or cannot eat enough. It is necessary to provid


This largely depends on a reduction in calorie intake. The commonest diets allow an intake of approximately 1000 kcal (4200 kJ) per day, although this may need to be nearer 1500 kcal (6300 kJ) per day for someone engaged in physical work. A diet that is too low in totalcalories will usually result in the patient cheating and keeping to the diet only for short periods. Patients must realize that prolonged diet


Some degree of obesity is almost invariable in the Western World and almost all people develop some obesity as they get older. Obesity implies the excess storage of fat and this can most easily be detected by looking at the undressed patient. BMI values for men and women. Tables of desirable weights for a given height can be found in the Appendices: 10% greater than these desirable weights is described as ove

Nutrition and ageing

Many animal studies have shown that life expectancy can be extended by restricting food intake. It is, however, not known in humans whether the ageing process can be alteredby nutrition. THE AGEING PROCESS While wear and tear may playa role in ageing, it does not appear to be a sufficient explanation for the occurrence of ageing. A number of theories have been postulated. PROGRAMMED AGEING. This theory suggests


A number of minerals have been shown to be essential ill animals and an increasing number of deficiency syndromes are becoming recognized in humans. Longterm total parenteral nutrition allowed trace-element deficiency to be studied in controlled conditions; now trace elements are always added to long-term parenteral nutrition regimens. It is highly probable (but difficult to study because of multiple deficie


Riboflavin is widely distributed throughout all plant and animal cells. Good sources are dairy products, offal and leafy vegetables. Riboflavin is not destroyed appreciably by cooking, but is destroyed by sunlight. Riboflavin is a flavoprotein that is a cofactor for many oxidative reactions in the cell. Riboflavin deficiency, which is rare in developed countries, is virtually always accompanied by other defic

Water-soluble vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are non-toxic and relatively cheap and can therefore always be given in excess if a deficiency is possible. The daily requirements of water-soluble vitamins. THIAMINE Thiamine is a co-factor of many enzyme reactions, particularly in the glycolytic pathway. Body stores are small and signs of deficiency will quickly develop with an inadequate intake. Thiamine is found in many foodstuffs an