Undernourishment Found in Elderly Hospitalized Patients
Twenty-one percent of patients followed between 1994 and 1997 in a Veteran's Affairs hospital were found to have receive an average of less than half of their calculated daily energy requirements during their hospital stay. This finding was reported by in the Journal of the American Medical Association's June 2, 1999 issue by Dr. Dennis Sullivan, Dr. Robert Walls and Suzy Sun of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The undernourished group of patients were compared to those receiving the proper energy requirements and were found to have a risk of death within ninety days of discharge that was three times higher, and a risk of in-hospital death eight times higher. This nutritional deficit is the result of presurgical restriction of food without alternate methods of nourishment, such as IV or intra-intestinal feeding. Following their surgery, the patients were unable to eat a sufficient amount of food to make up for the previous nutritional loss.
The authors of the study stated that nearly 60% of all elderly patients are undernourished when they are admitted or become undernourished during their hospital stay, and that patients whose nutrition is restricted prior to surgery should have their nutritional status reviewed on a daily basis.
In 1997, the Life Extension Foundation introduced S-adenosylmethionine, also known as SAMe or just "Sam". We were the first to let the public know about this amazing nutritional substance, previously available only in Europe. In a five part series of articles appearing in Life Extension Magazine, the Life Extension Foundation made known the many benefits of SAMe, including prevention of cardiovascular disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis and depression. SAMe quickly became a popular item at Life Extension, but it wasn't until the publication of an article in the March 22 1999 issue of Newsweek that the SAMe craze began. While orders poured into the Foundation, the product began appearing for the first time under other labels sold in health food stores, and was quickly bought up. Having experienced the fantastic benefits of the products, customers are purchasing large quantities for fear of running out. And indeed, stores and mail order companies are having difficulty keeping it in stock.
S-adenosylmethionine is a compound made from the amino acid methionine that acts as a methyl donor, that is, a substance that donates methyl groups consisting of carbon and hydrogen to other molecules that transform these molecules into substances such as neurotransmitters, DNA, RNA, protein and phospholipids. It is a precursor for the amino acids cysteine, glutathione and taurine, and with arginine, catalyzes the synthesis of spermine, spermidine and putrescine, substances needed for cell growth and differentiation. SAMe has been called a godsend by depressed individuals, with little in the way of side effects. (SAMe should not be combined with other antidepressants, including St John's Wort.)
To read articles Life Extension Magazine has published about SAMe, go to http://lef.org/prod_hp/php120.htm#articles.