Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) are a type of dietary supplement that is taken orally to provide additional nutrients to the body. They are designed to supplement the diet of individuals who are unable to meet their nutritional needs through regular food intake alone. ONS are available in various forms, including powders, liquids, and bars.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using ONS, how they work, and who can benefit from using them.
How do oral nutritional supplements work?
Oral nutritional supplements are designed to provide the body with essential nutrients that are lacking in the diet. They are formulated to be easily digestible, which allows the body to absorb the nutrients quickly. The nutrients in ONS vary depending on the product but can include protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Who can benefit from using oral nutritional supplements?
There are several groups of people who can benefit from using ONS. These include:
The elderly are at an increased risk of malnutrition due to a decrease in appetite, a lack of interest in food, and difficulty chewing and swallowing. ONS can provide the necessary nutrients that the elderly may be missing from their diet.
Individuals with medical conditions
Individuals with medical conditions such as cancer, HIV, and gastrointestinal disorders may have difficulty eating and absorbing nutrients. ONS can help provide the necessary nutrients to maintain their health.
Athletes have increased nutritional needs due to the physical demands of their sport. ONS can provide the necessary nutrients to help athletes recover after workouts and build muscle.
Individuals with weight loss goals
Individuals who are trying to lose weight may have trouble meeting their nutritional needs while consuming fewer calories. ONS can help provide the necessary nutrients while keeping calorie intake low.
Benefits of using oral nutritional supplements
There are several benefits to using ONS. These include:
Improved nutrient intake
ONS can help individuals meet their daily nutritional needs by providing the necessary vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in their diet.
Improved physical function
Individuals who use ONS may experience improved physical function due to increased nutrient intake.
Improved wound healing
ONS can help improve wound healing in individuals who are malnourished or have medical conditions that interfere with wound healing.
Improved quality of life
ONS can help improve the quality of life for individuals who are malnourished or have medical conditions that affect their ability to eat.
Types of oral nutritional supplements
There are several types of ONS available, including:
Standard ONS are designed for individuals who require additional nutrients to supplement their diet.
High protein ONS
High protein ONS are designed for individuals who require additional protein to build and repair muscle.
High energy ONS
High energy ONS are designed for individuals who require additional calories due to increased energy needs.
Disease-specific ONS are designed for individuals who have medical conditions that require specific nutritional needs.
Oral nutritional supplements are a valuable tool for individuals who are unable to meet their nutritional needs through regular food intake alone. They are designed to be easily digestible and provide essential nutrients to the body. ONS can help improve physical function, wound healing, and quality of life. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine if ONS are right for you.