Alexander DD, Bylsma LC, Elkayam L, Nguyen DL. 2016. Nutritional and health benefits of semi-elemental diets: A comprehensive summary of the literature. World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther 7(2):306-319.
AIM: To critically review and summarize the literature on nutritional and health outcomes of semi-elemental formulations on various nutritionally vulnerable patient populations who are unable to achieve adequate nutrition from standard oral diets.
METHODS: We conducted a comprehensive literature search of Pubmed and Embase databases. We manually screened articles that examined nutritional and health outcomes (e.g., growth, disease activity, gastrointestinal impairment, mortality, and economic impact) among various patient groups receiving semi-elemental diets. This review focused on full-text articles of randomized controlled clinical trials and other intervention studies, but pertinent abstracts and case studies were also included. Results pertaining primarily to tolerance, digestion, and absorption were summarized for each patient population in this systematic review.
RESULTS: Results pertaining primarily to tolerance, digestion, and absorption were summarized for each patient population. The efficacy of semi-elemental whey hydrolyzed protein (WHP) diet have been reported in various nutritionally high risk patient populations including – Crohn’s disease, short bowel syndrome, acute and chronic pancreatitis, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, cerebrovascular accidents, human immunodeficiency virus, critically ill, and geriatrics. Collectively, the evidence from the medical literature indicates that feeding with a semi-elemental diet performs as well or better than parenteral or amino acid based diets in terms of tolerance, digestion, and nutrient assimilation measures across various disease conditions.
CONCLUSION: Based on this comprehensive review of the literature, patient populations who have difficulty digesting or absorbing standard diets may be able to achieve improved health and nutritional outcomes through the use of semi-elemental WHP diets.