Challenges in conducting clinical nutrition research.
Weaver Connie M,Miller Joshua W
Clinical nutrition research has played a pivotal role in establishing causality between diet or nutrient intake and health outcome measures and in the determination of dietary requirements and levels of supplementation to achieve specific outcomes. Because the studies are performed with humans, clinical nutrition research can be readily translated into public health messages. However, there are many challenges and considerations unique to the field, such as the baseline nutritional status of study participants, defining appropriate control groups, effective blinding of participants and investigators, the evolving ethics of randomized control trials, and a tension in a priori decisions regarding inclusion of nutritionally vulnerable participants versus representative samples of general populations. Regulatory approvals that place increasing burdens on the ability of investigators to carry out and complete research protocols have grown dramatically in recent years. There is much room for improved efficiency in the approval and reporting processes aimed at protecting volunteers and providing transparency to the public. Decreased redundancy would have a direct benefit to clinical nutrition research and investigators. Despite these challenges, the information to be gained and the rewards of clinical nutrition research remain high.
ESPEN guideline: Clinical nutrition in surgery.
Weimann Arved,Braga Marco,Carli Franco,Higashiguchi Takashi,Hübner Martin,Klek Stanislaw,Laviano Alessandro,Ljungqvist Olle,Lobo Dileep N,Martindale Robert,Waitzberg Dan L,Bischoff Stephan C,Singer Pierre
Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Early oral feeding is the preferred mode of nutrition for surgical patients. Avoidance of any nutritional therapy bears the risk of underfeeding during the postoperative course after major surgery. Considering that malnutrition and underfeeding are risk factors for postoperative complications, early enteral feeding is especially relevant for any surgical patient at nutritional risk, especially for those undergoing upper gastrointestinal surgery. The focus of this guideline is to cover nutritional aspects of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) concept and the special nutritional needs of patients undergoing major surgery, e.g. for cancer, and of those developing severe complications despite best perioperative care. From a metabolic and nutritional point of view, the key aspects of perioperative care include: • integration of nutrition into the overall management of the patient • avoidance of long periods of preoperative fasting • re-establishment of oral feeding as early as possible after surgery • start of nutritional therapy early, as soon as a nutritional risk becomes apparent • metabolic control e.g. of blood glucose • reduction of factors which exacerbate stress-related catabolism or impair gastrointestinal function • minimized time on paralytic agents for ventilator management in the postoperative period • early mobilisation to facilitate protein synthesis and muscle function The guideline presents 37 recommendations for clinical practice.