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March 1989

Absorptive Capacity for Dietary Fat in Elderly Patients With Debilitating Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Gastroenterology, Brooklyn Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Department of Medicine, State University of New York Health Sciences Center, Brooklyn.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(3):557-560. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390030055010

• To determine the effectiveness of vigorous realimentation with dietary fat, 17 subjects aged 64.0±2.1 years (mean±1 SEM) were pump-fed via a nasogastric tube for an average of 22 days. The diet was liquid and nutritionally complete, high in unsaturated fat (67% of energy) and in the caloric density (12.6 kJ/mL or 3 kcal/L). Advanced malnutrition was manifested by 74% of the ideal body weight, subnormal anthropometric measurements, and low serum protein levels. At an intake of 17086±945 kJ (4068±225 kcal) and 344±18 g of fat per day, the rate of nutrient absorption was 93% for energy and fat and 88% for protein. An increase in the daily fecal fat to 23±6 g was not associated with diarrhea. While serum triglyceride levels remained unchanged, the total cholesterol level decreased, with a relative increase in the high-density lipoprotein level. Effective utilization of nutrients resulted in a positive nitrogen balance and increases in body weight, triceps skinfold, the midarm muscle circumference, total iron binding capacity, and serum urea nitrogen level.

(Arch Intern Med 1989;149:557-560)

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