A natural food component found in milk, soybeans, fish and yeast may help treat weight loss in seriously ill patients, according to a new book by University of Ulster food and nutrition lecturer.
Dr Richard Owusu-Apenten describes the latest research findings on the use of bioactive peptides in his book, ‘Bioactive Peptides: Applications for Improving Nutrition and Health’.
“A major focus of the book is uncontrolled weight loss. Unlike the obesity epidemic, wasting diseases have received little attention in the press,” he said.
“But muscle wasting affects a diverse range of vulnerable groups in particular, long-stay elderly residents of care homes and people suffering from serious diseases such as organ failure and cancer.
“Many common infections can also lead to wasting or under-nutrition which is a serious problem for health professions.
“Nutritional therapy using bioactive peptides may improve a patient’s recovery, reduce post treatment complications, and shorten a hospital stay. Purified bioactive peptides can be administered to patients, as sip feed, by tube feeding or via intravenous administration.
“It seems that most bioactive peptides work by improving the body’s natural defences by boosting antioxidant status, immune function, muscle growth and also controlling inflammation.
“Some bioactive peptides may possess antibiotic and antiviral properties whilst others can even boost appetite thereby ensuring weight gain.”
‘Bioactive Peptides: Applications for Improving Nutrition and Health’ is published by CRC Press.