Nutrition Policy

Undiagnosed Vitamin D Deficiency in the Hospitalized Patient - Article

ABSTRACT: Vitamin D deficiency among hospitalized patients may be more widespread than realized. Vague musculoskeletal complaints in these chronically ill patients may be attributed to multiple underlying disease processes rather than a deficiency in vitamin D. However, the failure to diagnose an underlying deficiency places the patient at risk for continued pain, weakness, secondary hyperparathyroidism, osteomalacia, and fractures. The causes of hypocalcemia and hypophosphatemia in the chronically ill patient are many, and the patient may respond to simple replacement therapy. Elderly hospitalized patients with ionized hypocalcemia and hypophosphatemia, with or without an elevated parathyroid hormone level, are most likely deficient in vitamin D. Initiating treatment during hospitalization is reasonable once the diagnosis has been confirmed by finding a low 25-hydroxyvitamin D level. Treatment with high doses of vitamin D is safe. Unfortunately, some hospital formularies continue to provide multivitamin supplements that contain less vitamin D than currently is recommended.

Nutritional Assessment and Counseling for Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: Physicians face several barriers to counseling their patients about nutrition, including conflicting evidence of the benefit of counseling, limited training and understanding of the topic, and imperfect and varied guidelines to follow. Because cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in industrialized nations, family physicians should provide more than pharmacologic interventions. They must identify the patient's dietary habits and attitudes and provide appropriate counseling. Tools are available to help, and a seven-step approach to nutritional therapy for the dyslipidemic patient may be useful. These steps include recommending increased intake of plant proteins; increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids; modification of the types of oils used in food preparation; decreased intake of saturated and trans-fatty acids; increased intake of whole grains and dietary fiber (especially soluble fiber) and decreased intake of refined grains; modification of alcohol intake, if needed; and regular exercise. Recommendations should be accompanied by patient information handouts presenting acceptable substitutions for currently identified detrimental food choices.

IOM Recommends Increased Calcium Intakes - Special Medical Reports

Issues in Newborn Screening for Phenylketonuria - Article

ABSTRACT: The blood sample for phenylketonuria (PKU) screening should be obtained at least 12 hours after the infant's birth. Newborn screening for PKU has largely eliminated mental retardation caused by this disease. If the first phenylalanine test demonstrates positive results, a repeat test should be performed. Treatment to prevent sequelae from this disorder is best carried out in cooperation with an experienced PKU center. Dietary care is expensive, and financial assistance may be necessary for many families. A phenylalanine-restricted diet should be started as soon as possible. Occasionally, cases of PKU are missed by newborn screening. Thus, a repeat PKU test should be performed in an infant who exhibits slow development.

Updated Dietary Guidelines from the USDA and HHS - Practice Guidelines

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