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Medical Nutrition

Medical Nutrition is a therapeutic composition developed to satisfy the nutritional requirements of patients that have specific medical conditions in a manner that supports their physical upkeep, treatment procedure, and symptom management.

Normally, individuals obtain the necessary nutrients their bodies require through normal daily diets that process the foods accordingly within the body. Nevertheless, there are circumstances such as disease, distress, stress, and so on that may prevent the body from obtaining sufficient nutrients through diets alone. In such conditions, a dietary supplementation specifically formulated for their individual condition may be required to fill the void created by the specific condition. This can come in form of Medical Nutrition.

There are slight differences noted in the definitions "medical nutrition therapy" (MNT) and "Medical Nutrition". MNT is defined as the use of specific nutrition services to treat an illness, injury, or condition. It was introduced in 1994 by the American Dietetic Association to better articulate the nutrition therapy process. It involves the assessment of the nutritional status of the client and the actual treatment, which includes nutrition therapy, counseling, and the use of specialized nutrition supplements. Registered dietitians started using MNT as a dietary intervention for preventing or treating other health conditions that are caused by or made worse by unhealthy eating habits.

On the other hand, "Medical Nutrition" as term is more holistic in its definition.

Medical Nutrition can be formulated in diverse forms. It can be distributed in a liquid or powder form. It can also come as tablets, injections or clinically formulated foods - all of which would be done for specific dietary or nutritional purposes and conditions as directed by an accredited healthcare provider, registered dietitian, or professional nutritionist.

In most cases the use of Medical Nutrition is recommended within international and professional guidelines. It can be an integral part of managing acute and short-term diseases. It can also play a major role in supporting patients for extended periods of time and even for a lifetime in some special cases. Medical Nutrition is not meant to replace the treatment of disease but rather complement the normal use of drug therapies prescribed by physicians and other licensed healthcare providers.

Unlike Medical Foods which are defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration, {within their 'Medical Foods Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information' guide in section 5(b) of the Orphan Drug Act (21 U.S.C. 30ee (b) (3))}; as “a food which is formulated to be consumed or administered enterally under the supervision of a physician and which is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements, based on recognized scientific principles, are established by medical evaluation,”

  • A patient may need to follow a strict diet to see benefits while using a medical nutrition plan.
  • Some forms of medical nutrition can be very expensive. A poor patient may not afford such.


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