|| DukeMedNews || Information on Liquid Dietary Supplements

Suggested lead: Older adults are being targeted by makers of liquid dietary supplements, but proper nutrition might be a better alternative. Tom Britt has more.

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It’s a good thing to be aware of our changing nutritional needs as we get older. One area for concern is whether we’re getting enough nutrients in our diet. Some advertising being targeted toward older adults recommends liquid dietary supplements. The ads give the impression that you will be more vigorous and happy when you drink their mixture. Duke University Medical Center nutritionist Marilyn Sparling says those drinks can be fine, as long as they don’t replace your regular meals.

“There’s nothing wrong with having some liquid supplements in there, they can be fine. But I think if someone is going to have three of those a day and is not eating any real food, that’s not a good idea.”

Some critics have pointed out that the dietary supplements being touted for older adults are nothing more than hospital food that has traditionally been used when a bedridden patient is unable to take any solid food. As with most other things, the advice is to go ahead and have them in your diet if you like, but only in moderation. I’m Tom Britt.

Sparling says liquid dietary supplements do not contain some essential ingredients found in real food.

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“Even though they’re supposed to have lots of vitamins and minerals, they still don’t have all the various phytochemicals and things that fruits and vegetables and cereals have in them.”