Whole Food Helps The Critically Ill

Samantha Ernst M06150106

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Article Summary

"Whole Food Helps Support the Critically Ill" by Dr. John Bagnuio. Published in Natural Awakenings Magazine in April 2016. In this article Dr. Bagnuio discusses the importance of utilizing proper nutrition support in the treatment of critically ill patients, quoting Hippocrates who said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". The article explains the risk of nutritional deficiency developing in hospitalized patients, necessitating the use of tube feedings. It briefly discusses the common formulas used for tube feedings and how they often contain ingredients such as corn syrup and artificial coloring and flavorings. The piece then goes on to introduce the product called Liquid Hope and Nourish tube feeding formulas, which contain only organic, whole food ingredients, and have no added sugars. The article asserts that no critically-ill patient should be on a sugar-based nutrition plan. Dr. Bagnuio then goes in depth on the harmful effects of glyphosates in the diet, which have been classified as a carcinogen and are not found in the whole foods-based formulas. The article then discusses the benefits of phytonutrients that are in whole foods formulas, including accelerated wound healing and anti-inflammatory benefits. The piece concludes by saying that patients whose only options are sugar and vegetable oil-based feeding formulas are at a large disadvantage, and that Liquid Hope and Nourish formulas are a better option to provide "nutrition comparable to a healthy diet".

Article Critique

This article was published in the April 2016 issue of Natural Awakenings, a magazine with local branches in over 90 communities in the US, which focuses on natural approaches to health. The credibility of this magazine is questionable as it may choose to present information on natural remedies to its readers, even when science may stand behind modern medicinal approaches. To further analyze the validity and reliability of this article, I want to begin examining the credentials of the article's author Dr. John Bagnulo. Dr. Bagnulo has worked as a nutritionist for 18 years, and he holds both a masters degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina and a Doctorate in Human Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Maine. While these are impressive credentials, it is worth noting that Dr. Bagnulo is a nutritionist with an advanced degree, but he is not a Registered Dietitian. His educational background set aside, I think it is most relevant that Dr. Bagnulo works as the director of nutrition at Functional Formularies, which is a for-profit company that produces feeding tube formulas and oral meal replacements. This company is based out of Ohio, and it is being mentioned in a nutritional article presented in a local Ohio magazine, which also points to this being more of an advertisement than a source of impartial nutrition information. In this article, Dr. Bagnulo is promoting a specific product called Liquid Hope and Nourish formulas, which his company produces and sells. This presents a clear conflict of interest. The author makes statements such as "given the known damaging effects of sugar on the healing process", and mentions that in 2015 the WHO classified glyphosate as a carcinogen, however, no specific scientific research is presented. To truly demonstrate scientific validity of the case he is making for organic whole-food feeding formulas, the author should be presenting the audience with scientific trials and studies that support his claims. Due to the lack of citation of specific scientific trials and/or documented proof of the benefits of the feeding formulas he is advocating, and due to the conflict of interest that is inherent in an article promoting a product for which the sale of directly benefits the author, I have concluded that this is not a reliable source of nutritional information.