978-0-387-96025-8 / 9780387960258

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About the book:

There has been much popular and scientific interest in the fields of nu­ trition and aging in recent years. As the importance of proper nutrition in children and young adults becomes more fully understood, it is natural to wonder if proper nutrition could playa similar role in later life. Recent research has indicated that nutrition can potentially intervene in the ag­ ing process in at least two ways. First, studies in animals and humans have shown that nutrition can be used to improve functional status, which, in turn, is related to perceived quality of life. Second, nutritional manipu­ lation has been used to extend maximal life span in laboratory animals. How these interesting findings apply to the human situation remains to be explored. The purpose of this book is twofold. The first is to present recent ad­ vances in our basic knowledge of how nutrition and aging interact with each other. The second is to discuss some applications of this knowledge to the care of the elderly patient. The interaction between aging and nutrition is complex because each may act on the other in either a synergistic or antagonistic fashion. Aging may alter the nutritional status of the elderly by affecting the way nu­ trients are absorbed and utilized by the body. Aging may also influence food intake and, therefore, nutritional status by decreasing the palatabil­ ity of food. The environment of the elderly may change so they are less likely to eat well-balanced meals.

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