Horizon 2020 Szechenyi 2020
Medifood is a medical nutrition company offering nutritional products for people affected by disease-related malnutrition.
  • About disease-related malnutrition

    Malnutrition or malnourishment is a condition that occurs
    if the body does not get the right amount of nutrients to maintain its health.
    When this is due to the effects of a disease or illness we call it
    disease-related malnutrition.
    Read more

  • Therapeutic areas of disease-related malnutrition

    Diseases that can lead to malnutrition include: cancers - Oncology Read more Respiratory diseases - Pulmonology Read moreStomach and intestinal diseases - Gastroenterology Read more Age related degenerative disorders - Elderly Read more

What is disease-related malnutrition in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

In the past, protein-energy malnutrition was very common in IBD patients, affecting 70-80% of hospitalized patients. Malnutrition was more common in Crohn’s disease than in ulcerative colitis patients, with an incidence ranging from 25% to 80%, especially during the remission phase. The prevalence of protein-energy malnutrition has decreased over the years, but still remains one of the major complications in children with IBD. Weight loss is present at diagnosis in up to 90% of children, while growth failure at the time of diagnosis has been reported in 23-88%.1

What are the causes of disease-related malnutrition in IBD?

The most important causes of malnutrition in IBD are decreased food intake due to anorexia, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or restricted diets; the malabsorption of nutrients due to the reduced absorptive surface because of the inflammation, resection, bypass and fistulae; increased intestinal loss due to gastrointestinal disorders; hypermetabolic states; and drug interactions with corticosteroids, sulfasalazine, immunosuppressants, or antimicrobials.2

What are the consequences of disease-related malnutrition in IBD?

Undernutrition has a negative effect on the clinical course of the disease, rate of postoperative complications (especially anastomosis breakdown) and mortality in IBD patients. Moreover, undernutrition causes humoral and cellular immunodeficiency, leading to impairment of the mucosal barrier and a greater risk of infection by bacterial translocation.1

Why is it important to be well-nourished?

Getting the right amount of nutrients is crucial for preventing weight loss and muscle wasting which helps keep up strength, and overcome weakness caused by the disease-related malnutrition. A high calorie diet has been shown to induce weight gain, an increase of the albumin level, a decrease in the disease activity, a reversal of subacute obstruction, and remission in patients suffering from IBD.3

How can we help?

The main source of nutrients is normally food. However, for IBD patients suffering from disease-related malnutrition, a healthy diet is often not enough. Since the nutritional demand is increased but appetite is reduced, patients need nutritional supplements that contain high energy in low volume, so even a little quantity significantly boosts the nutritional intake. Specially formulated nutritional products are available for patients to stay well-nourished and fight disease more effectively. They come in all tastes and formats, catering for everyone’s needs.

Medifood’s innovative nutritional product is highly effective due to its beneficial features. Its high energy and protein contents are able to correct the malnutrition seen in IBD patients. It is known that a low carbohydrate diet can ameliorate the clinical symptoms of IBD4, thus, nutrition with the product containing a low amount of carbohydrate has similar beneficial effects in such patients. Moreover, the high amount of ω-3 fatty acids in the product can reduce inflammation, thus lower the disease activity and increase quality of life in IBD.


  1. Guagnozzi D. et al. Nutritional treatment in inflammatory bowel disease. An update. Rev Esp Enferm Dig 2012;104:479-88.
  2. Hartman C. et al. Nutritional status and nutritional therapy in inflammatory bowel diseases. World J Gastroenterol 2009;15:2570-8.
  3. Afdhal NH. et al. Remission induction in refractory Crohns disease using a high calorie whole diet. JPEN J Parenteral Enteral Nutr 1989;13:362-5.
  4. Lutz W. Dismantling a myth: the role of fat and carbohydrates in our diet. by Selecta-Verlag Dr. Ildar Idris GmbH & Co.
    KG Planegg V. Muenchen, West Germany, 1986. available at: http://www.scdiet.org/7archives/lutz/lutz7.html