Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Can nuts mitigate malnutrition in older adults? A conceptual framework.

Version 1 : Received: 24 September 2018 / Approved: 24 September 2018 / Online: 24 September 2018 (16:29:08 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Tan, S.-Y.; Tey, S.L.; Brown, R. Can Nuts Mitigate Malnutrition in Older Adults? A Conceptual Framework. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1448. Tan, S.-Y.; Tey, S.L.; Brown, R. Can Nuts Mitigate Malnutrition in Older Adults? A Conceptual Framework. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1448.

Journal reference: Nutrients 2018, 10, 1448
DOI: 10.3390/nu10101448

Abstract

The proportion of adults aged over 60 years in the world is expected to reach 20% by the year 2050. Ageing is associated with several physiological changes that increase the risk of malnutrition among this population. Malnutrition is characterized by deficiencies or insufficiencies of macro- and micronutrients. Malnutrition has detrimental effects on the health, wellbeing and quality of life of older adults. Nuts are rich in energy, unsaturated fats, protein, as well as other nutrients that provide a range of health benefits. While the effects of nuts on overnutrition have been studied extensively, very few studies have been specifically designed to understand the role of nuts in mitigating undernutrition in the elderly. Therefore, this review explores the potential role of nuts in improving the nutritional status of older adults who are at risk of undernutrition. Several properties of whole nuts, some of which appear important for addressing overnutrition, (e.g. hardness, lower-than-expected nutrient availability, satiety-enhancing effects) may limit their effectiveness as a food to combat undernutrition. However, we propose that modifications such as transforming the physical form of nuts, addressing the timing of nut ingestion, and introducing variety may overcome these barriers. This review also discusses the feasibility of using nuts to prevent and reverse undernutrition among older adults. We conclude with a recommendation to conduct clinical studies in the future to test this conceptual framework.

Subject Areas

Nuts; ageing; nutritional status; malnutrition; appetite; energy intake; health

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