MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: What foods are to be served to immunosupressed people?

Date: Sun Feb 28 16:04:53 1999
Posted By: Phyllis Stumbo, Staff, Nutrition, University of Iowa
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 919442934.Me

Immunosuppressed individuals need the same nutritious intake as is recommended to the general public. There are several important considerations, however, that relate to the suppressed immune system. Foods eaten should be very clean, and for this reason it is recommended that no fresh fruits and vegetables are consumed as these foods may have contamination that is not harmful to most people, but that can cause problems for compromised individuals. Canned fruits and vegetables are nutritious and have a much lower bacterial load. Freshly cooked food is generally safe to eat, and very careful kitchen sanitation should be exercised, such as washing hands before handling food, keep foods refrigerated before consumption, and use refrigerated food within 3 days. Also, some medications taken by those who are immunosuppressed may cause gastrointestinal side-effects such as lactose intolerance. It is wise to substitute oral supplements which are lactose-free if the subject experiences gastric symptoms such as diarrhea.

Phyllis Stumbo
University of Iowa,
Iowa City, IA, USA

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