Nestlé, the largest food and beverage company in the world, through its Nestlé Health Science Division, brings to the Romanian market the Resource range, a polymeric, complete nutritional diet recommended for the malnutrition and/or the risk of malnutrition in oncological diseases, in the treatment of oncological diseases or associated with other conditions for adults and children, from the age of 3 years.
Malnutrition is a major health problem around the world. In Europe, around 33 million people are at risk of malnutrition, i.e. 1 in 4 patients in hospitals, 1 in 3 patients cared for at home or 1 in 3 elderly people living indepedently.
The causes of malnutrition are diverse, from inadequate intake, reduced intestinal absorption or acute or chronic diseases, but at the heart of the problem is malnutrition associated with diseases and/ r treatments. Up to 80% of oncological patients experience gastrointestinal symptoms during chemotherapy. Malnutrition is also associated with increased morbidity in acute and chronic diseases, a poorer quality of life and an increased use of resources in the public health system.
More than 50% of patients with certain types of cancer are affected by malnutrition, 50% experience weight loss at diagnosis and up to 45% suffer from severe weight loss (>10%) during the course of the disease. The types of cancer with the highest prevalence of malnutrition are: of the upper digestive tract – 49,5%, head and neck – 45,6%, lungs – 40,2%, hematology – 34,2%, gynecological – 32%, colo-rectal – 31,2%, breast – 18,3%. 80% of patients with cancer of the upper digestive sphere have already experienced some degree of weight loss at diagnosis.
A study of 4,500 patients showed that between 25% – 50% of hospitalized patients are malnourished and another 25% are at risk of malnutrition. The risk of malnutrition is higher among elderly patients. The cost associated with caring for a malnourished patient can account for up to 20% of the total cost to a patient (located in a permanent care facility).
In Romania, approximately 95,000 oncological patients are diagnosed per year3. Many of them show signs of malnutrition at the time of diagnosis, which leads to side effects or more severe to treatment. For example, in addition to vomiting, bone pain, I can barely lose weight excessively following cytostatics. Malnutrition and weight loss lead to a reduced response to oncological treatment and a decrease in quality of life.
“As a result of my experience, I have noticed that involuntary weight loss is the nutrition problem most common in the oncological patient and the most difficult to solve. Malnutrition of the cancer patient is not only a weight loss below the level considered normal kilograms. Weight loss in the cancer patient is combined with a decrease in muscle mass and metabolic changes that may be influenced by the disease and treatment and may sometimes not be completely reversible. In order to see the scale of the problem in our country, in 2021 we conducted a study, about the problems of the oncological patient in Romania, in which 1,040 patients, from all counties, responded to a questionnaire about access to nutritional support during the treatment period. Thus, we could see that 79% of them had nutritional problems and more than half lost weight, without their will.
If we want to have the best approach, then we must intervene to prevent the appearance of the problem and help the patient, at which involuntary weight loss occurs, not to decrease during the treatment period more than 5% of his total body weight. Therefore, the oncological patient must receive nutritional counseling, in order to achieve his caloric and protein needs and, when necessary, he must also be guided to the correct choice of special liquid dietary foods with increased caloric and protein intake and easy to swallow or further, to enteral or parenteral nutrition”, says Dr. Irina Mateieș, family medicine primary physician and nutritionist-dietitian with over 8 years of experience in the nutrition of the oncological patient.
For such patients, an effective and non-invasive solution in the management of malnutrition may be represented by oral nutritional supplements. In this respect, the Resource range, launched by the Nestlé Health Science Division, constitutes a polymeric, complete nutritional diet for the dietary regimen of malnutrition in oncological patients. This range can be used as the sole source of nutrition or as a supplement. The benefits of oral nutritional supplements are to improve the quality of life, activity and independence especially in malnourished elderly patients, as well as a 56% reduction in complications and a 24% reduction in the mortality rate.1
This range has a number of benefits for oncological patients: nutrition appropriate to the state of health, as the only source of nutrition or replacement of a meal, having an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients such as: vitamins A, C, E, Selenium, Zinc, polyunsaturated fatty acids and not containing gluten. Currently, in Romania you can find 3 assortments of the Resource range: Resource 2.0 (flavors: vanilla, pineapple-mango, apricots), Resource Protein (strawberries, cocoa) and Resource 2.0 with fiber (coffee).
Resource 2.0 is a ready-made, hypercaloric drink that does not require preparation and is available in a 200 ml format with three flavor variants (vanilla, pineapple -mango, apricot). Resource Protein is a complete liquid diet with increased protein intake, average calorie content and two flavors (cocoa and strawberries), and is indicated for patients with malnutrition with high protein requirements. And Resource 2.0 +Fiber is a complete liquid diet – hypercaloric, with increased protein intake, enriched with fiber and is indicated for malnourished patients who need additional fiber intake.