As you’ve read, protein losses during illnesses may drastically negatively impact patient outcomes and Quality of Life. It is vital to know illness (like injury/surgery), is a hypercatabolic state. Catabolism means a breakdown in its most simplistic definition. This breakdown especially relates to whole-body protein. The presence of fever only increases this destructive metabolism. The increased metabolic demand for protein observed in an acute illness if not met, can lead to a critical loss of lean body muscle mass, which may result in immunosuppression, decreased strength and activity. When patients can’t mount an effective immune response to the challenges presented by infection, this may obviously result in poor outcomes, possibly even to the point of death.
We are witnessing the devastation caused by the Coronavirus on a daily basis. In general, an infection will cause an increased need for protein, and these demands must be met in order to give patients the best chance for success. Increasing dietary protein may result in improved patient outcomes, Quality of Life, and may, in fact, save lives.
You are the reason I created Dr. Steve’s Nutri Snax.
Steve Snodgrass, M.D., F.A.C.S.
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