Medical nutrition therapy

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Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is a therapeutic approach to treating medical conditions and their associated symptoms via the use of a specifically tailored diet devised and monitored by a medical doctor physician or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).[1] The diet is based upon the patient's medical record, physical examination, functional examination and dietary history.[citation needed]

The role of MNT when administered by a physician or dietitian nutritionist (RDN) is to reduce the risk of developing complications in pre-existing conditions such as type 2 diabetes as well as ameliorate the effects any existing conditions such as high cholesterol.[citation needed] Many medical conditions either develop or are made worse by an improper or unhealthy diet.[2][3][4]

An example is the use of macronutrient preload in type 2 diabetes.[5][6]


"Medical nutrition therapy" (MNT) is the use of specific nutrition services to treat an illness, injury, or condition.[7] 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.[7][8] 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.[9]

On the other hand, Medical nutrition is a broader term describing nutrition in a medical context.

Dietary needs and disease processes[edit]

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.[10]


In most cases the use of Medical Nutrition is recommended within international and professional guidelines.[10] 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.[10] 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.[10]

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,”[11]


The following advantages come with medical nutrition:


The following are some disadvantages of medical nutrition:

  • A patient may need to follow a strict diet to see benefits while using a medical nutrition plan.[15]
  • Some forms of medical nutrition can be very expensive. A poor patient may not afford such.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Skipper, Annalynn (2009-10-07). Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy Practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 50. ISBN 9780763742898.
  2. ^ Sikand G, Kashyap ML, Yang I Medical nutrition therapy lowers serum cholesterol and saves medication costs in men with hypercholesterolemia.J Am Diet Assoc. 1998 Aug;98(8):889-94; quiz 895-6.PMID 9710659
  3. ^ Copperman N, Jacobson MS. Medical nutrition therapy of overweight adolescents. Adolesc Med. 2003 Feb;14(1):11-21. PMID 12529187
  4. ^ Budimka Novaković, Maja Grujicić and Ljiljana Trajković-Pavlović. Medical nutrition prevention and medical nutrition therapy of lipid metabolism disorder Med Pregl 62 Suppl 3():95-100 (2009) PMID 19702125
  5. ^ Li C, Norstedt G, Hu ZG, Yu P, Li DQ, Li J, Yu Q, Sederholm M, Yu DM. Effects of a macronutrient preload on type 2 diabetic patients, Frontiers in Endocrinology 6:139, 2015
  6. ^ Morris, Sara F.; Wylie-Rosett, Judith (2010-01-01). "Medical Nutrition Therapy: A Key to Diabetes Management and Prevention". Clinical Diabetes. 28 (1): 12–18. doi:10.2337/diaclin.28.1.12. ISSN 0891-8929.
  7. ^ a b "RDNs and Medical Nutrition Therapy Services". 12 June 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  8. ^ a b Sara F., Morris, et all. "Medical Nutrition Therapy: A Key to Diabetes Management and Prevention". Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Medical Nutrition Therapy: Definition & Uses". Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d "What is Medical Nutrition?". Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Draft Guidance for Industry: Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Foods; Second Edition". Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  12. ^ "The Benefits of Medical Nutrition Therapy". Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  13. ^ Joyce Green, Pastors et all. "The Evidence for the Effectiveness of Medical Nutrition Therapy in Diabetes Management". Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Strategy & Key Figures - Longer, Healthier Lives". Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  15. ^ Natalie, Stein (19 August 2015). "What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Nutritional Therapy?". Retrieved 3 May 2016.

External links[edit]