Vitamins and minerals, also known as micronutrients, are essential for our health. We depend largely on nutrition to ensure that the required intakes of micronutrients are met. Unfortunately, micronutrient deficiencies are common in the Netherlands. NutriProfiel® is a collaboration between Gelderse Vallei Hospital and the Division of Human Nutrition, which aims to provide personal dietary advice to patients to improve their micronutrient status.
Micronutrient deficiencies & poor diet – a cause for concern
Micronutrient deficiencies may lead to serious health problems, such as impaired bone health, damage to the nervous system, and fatigue. Micronutrient deficiencies may have different causes, such as malabsorption disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, or long-term insufficient intake of micronutrients through the diet. A patient with a micronutrient deficiency can be treated with high-dosed supplements to replenish the micronutrients in a short timespan, but it is also important to improve dietary habits if this is the primary cause of the deficiency. For most physicians, it is difficult to evaluate the diet of a patient and to provide well-founded dietary advice. To bridge this gap, NutriProfiel was developed as part of the ‘Alliantie Voeding Gelderse Vallei’, an extensive collaboration between Wageningen University and the Gelderse Vallei Hospital, and focuses on vitamin B6, folic acid, B12 and D. NutriProfiel helps physicians to provide a personal dietary advice to patients which is based on sound scientific knowledge.
NutriProfiel – personal dietary advice for patients to improve intake of micronutrients trough nutrition
The NutriProfiel advice is based on outcomes of 1) laboratory diagnosis and 2) a modified version of the ‘Eetscore’ short food frequency questionnaire. The laboratory diagnosis of vitamins in blood will determine whether a patient has a deficiency or not. The food frequency questionnaire will evaluate to what extend the diet contains vitamins. Based on these outcomes, the Nutriprofiel advice may encourage the patient to improve the diet, or may provide suggestions to the physician for other (medical) causes that may have caused a deficiency, such as use of certain medication. NutriProfiel is highly automated; the questionnaire is filled in online, and the NutriProfiel advice is provided to the physician through the standard electronic channels (‘EPD/HIS’). NutriProfiel is currently available for patients of Gelderse Vallei Hospital in Ede and for patients from local general physicians (‘huisartsen’) that go to the hospital for laboratory diagnosis. NutriProfiel is offered as an additional service.
In addition for patient care, the NutriProfiel personal dietary advice is also offered for others who are interested in their micronutrient status and nutrition. Those interested can directly order a NutriProfiel dietary advice.
NutriProfiel & science
NutriProfiel initiates scientific research that is aimed at strengthening its activities. Several studies have been completed or are ongoing. This includes investigating the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in specific patient populations, or exploring the use of novel markers of micronutrients status. The projects are performed in collaboration with Wageningen University and the network of the Alliantie Voeding.
More research: Clinical nutrition