Nutritional deficiency is not getting the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy growth and survival. This can cause digestive upset and weakness. It can also cause weight loss and muscle problems.
Medicine and supplements can help promote proper nutrition. Natural treatments have also been used.
These herbs and supplements may help improve nutrition:
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some may get in the way of treatment. They can also make illness worse or cause new problems. Examples include:
A. Herbs and Supplements
A1. Baldwin C, Spiro A, Ahern R, Emery PW. Oral nutritional interventions in malnourished patients with cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Mar 7;104(5):371-385.
A2. Ahmadi A, Mazooji N, et al. Effects of alpha-lipoic acid and vitamin E supplementation on oxidative stress, inflammation, and malnutrition in hemodialysis patients. Iran J Kidney Dis. 2013;7(6):461-467.
A3. Stratton RJ, Hébuterne X, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of oral nutritional supplements on hospital readmissions. Ageing Res Rev. 2013 Sep;12(4):884-897.
A4. Collins J, Porter J. The effect of interventions to prevent and treat malnutrition in patients admitted for rehabilitation: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2015 Feb;28(1):1-15.
A5. Stobaugh HC, Ryan KN, et al. Including whey protein and whey permeate in ready-to-use supplementary food improves recovery rates in children with moderate acute malnutrition: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;103(3):926-933.
A6. de van der Schueren MA, Wijnhoven HA, et al. A critical appraisal of nutritional intervention studies in malnourished, community dwelling older persons. Clin Nutr. 2016 Oct;35(5):1008 14.
A7. Grenov B, Namusoke H, et al. Effect of Probiotics on Diarrhea in Children With Severe Acute Malnutrition: A Randomized Controlled Study in Uganda. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017;64(3):396-403.
B. Therapeutic food
B1. Lazzerini M, Rubert L, et al. Specially formulated foods for treating children with moderate acute malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 21;(6):CD009584.
B2. Schoonees A, Lombard MJ, et al. Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) for home-based nutritional rehabilitation of severe acute malnutrition in children from six months to five years of age. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019;5:CD009000.
C. Other Therapies
C1. Baldwin C, Weekes CE. Dietary counselling with or without oral nutritional supplements in the management of malnourished patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2012 Oct;25(5):411-426.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 5/26/2020