Case Study - Eating Disorders and Nutritional Needs

Although eating disorders have been around for as long as there have been humans, the extensive research on them has existed for only about thirty years. It is known that there is a distinct and definitive correlation between a diagnosis of depression in the early to late teen years and the development of eating disorders. The three eating disorders that are most commonly studied and/or diagnosed are anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating.

The debate over whether or not obesity should be considered an eating disorder continues; while it is now considered a disease in and of itself, obesity may also become classified as an eating disorder and treated as both a psychological disorder in addition to being a physical problem. For now, it is a medical disorder, as well as a risk factor for a number of serious conditions, but not an eating disorder.

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Anorexia Nervosa

Case Study - Eating Disorders and Nutritional Needs

Anorexia is diagnosed when a person (predominantly females) refuses to allow her body to be over 85% of the weight that is normal for her height. Psychologically, the person who is diagnosed with anorexia is obsessed with weight and body image and rigidly monitors everything that goes into his or her mouth at every moment, even counting out the calories in the toothpaste that they might use that day. The DSM-IV-TR, the diagnostic tool for the mental health field, has these criteria for diagnosing anorexia nervosa:

- Unable or unwilling to keep body weight at or above 85% of the normal level

- Intense fear of gaining weight or, more importantly, of becoming fat when they are obviously and dangerously underweight

- Obsession with weight and body image to the point of detriment to the self esteem

- The absence of three menstrual cycles in a row

Some anorexics will spend hours exercising, even when they are exhausted and their muscles are hurting. They may not be sleeping correctly and many of them will have heart problems as a result of their extreme weight loss.

Warning Signs:

- Preoccupation with food, eating or dieting

- Compulsive or excessive exercising

- Negative self esteem

- Withdrawal from friends and family, especially if the social event will involve food

- A complete loss of menstruation

- Intolerance to cold temperatures


The bulimic will eat, either a small amount or a large amount, and then compensate for the calories that they have consumed by either exercising too much, taking laxatives or making themselves vomit. The typical cycle is binge and purge, where the bulimic will eat huge amounts of food, often more than a full day's worth of calories at a single sitting, and then will vomit immediately. If vomiting becomes problematic, laxatives might be used.

Diagnostic Criteria

- Consumption of large amounts of food, or a total lack of control during the eating cycle

- Recurrent behavior of trying to compensate for the eating/overeating.

- Binge eating and compensatory behaviors at least twice a week for at least a three month period

- Self evaluation that is overly influenced by weight and body shape

- Bulimic behavior that does not occur only during episodes of anorexia


Like anorexia, the presence of depression tends to increase the likelihood of developing an eating disorder. The group that is most affected by this eating disorder is adolescent Caucasian females who are also more likely to abuse diet pills and laxatives.

Binge Eating

Binging is different from the other two eating disorders in that there is no effort to lose weight, no obsessive compulsion to exercise and no supreme need to exercise after eating. The binge can be compulsive snacking that happens mindlessly all day long or can be a huge meal that encompasses a full day's worth of calories in a single sitting. If this happens continually, the metabolism will slow and eventually stop working altogether, leading to weight gain. Because stress is a major factor for binge eating, the weight gain alone is enough to trigger another binge episode, leading to a vicious cycle of stress, binging, stress, binging, etc.

Other risk factors for binge eating include:

- Stressful situations

- Specific upsetting thoughts

- Feeling guilty about something one has done

- Feeling socially excluded or isolated

- Worries about problems, the future or responsibilities

- Boredom

Recovery Possibilities

After five to ten years, half of those who were treated for bulimia had recovered, 30% had relapsed at least once and 20% were still diagnostically considered bulimic. Those who had double diagnoses, specifically substance abuse and bulimia, were the least likely to have full and meaningful recoveries.

Three Eating Disorders, Three Women

Elaine was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at the age of 20 and has been in counseling for about a year. She has slowly regained some of her weight, but has relapsed several times during this time period. Elaine has spent several months in the hospital to be given IV fluids and has even had a scare with her heart. After several months of renewed counseling efforts, she is making some slow progress. At this point, she is eating only small meals, mostly liquids and semi-soft meals. As part of a contract that Elaine signed with her counselor, she is only allowed to exercise at a slow to moderate pace no more than fifteen minutes per day and must have something that counts as a small meal at least every two hours.

Elaine has agreed to add a liquid protein shot as one of her mini meals, giving her 25 grams of highly digestible protein and all of the vitamin C that she needs every day. She is pleased with the fruit-based flavors and is progressing, slowly and carefully.

Evelyn, on the other hand, was diagnosed with bulimia. Her method of choice is to binge, consuming up to 5000 calories in a single sitting at times, and then forcing herself to vomit. At times when she is unable to vomit, she consumes a double dose of laxatives after an hour of jogging. She has destroyed the enamel on her teeth from the constant vomiting; she no longer goes to the bathroom normally because she has developed a dependence on the laxatives. She finds herself plotting her next binge, including what she will eat and when. She always wakes the next day vowing not to do it again, but by mid-afternoon, she is thinking of the binge that she will have next.

Part of her counseling program will be to start eating healthy meals. She will also be treated for the health conditions that she has brought on herself, including the damage that she has done to her intestinal tract. Using the liquid protein shot will help her to keep her metabolism high and keep from being hungry throughout the day. Evelyn will also keep a diary of her trigger foods so that whenever she feels that she might binge, she can find an alternative behavior.

Becca is 43, newly single and a binge eater. She has always been a little overweight, however, in the last few years she has really picked up weight - whenever she has had a bad day or feels lonely, she turns to food for comfort. The food has been increasing in amount and the binges are coming more often as she spirals out of control. Her doctor tells her that she is borderline for hypertension and diabetes and that her cholesterol is completely out of control. She starts a new, healthy dieting plan and starts walking in her neighborhood once a day. To keep herself from feeling hungry, she uses the 25-gram liquid protein shot as a between-meal snack. The protein keeps her from feeling hungry and she gets additional vitamins from the small shot as well.

Case Study - Eating Disorders and Nutritional Needs

About Protica Research

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm specializing in the development of protein-rich, capsulized foods (dense nutrition in compact liquid and food forms). Protica manufactures Profect protein beverage, IsoMetric, Fruitasia and more than 100 other brands in its GMP-certified, 250,000 square foot facility.

You can learn more about Protica at

Copyright - Protica Research -

Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatments and the Need For Good Nutrition

Cancer itself may not be problematic; in fact many types of cancer can continue to grow in the body without any warning signs at all, until it is quite widespread or starts causing other organs to malfunction. For this reason, it is important that all screening test schedules be adhered to. However, even with proper screening there are times when the cancer can grow without notice. In most cases of cancers that are deemed treatable there are three courses of action which may be taken individually or in some combination with one another. These are: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

The side effects of both chemo and radiation can make a patient miserable and may seem like they are worse than the cancer itself. These include: nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, anemia, hair loss, fatigue, mouth ulcers and sores, yeast infections, depression and anxiety, insomnia and pain. All of these problems by themselves can be hard enough to handle, but they often all come at the same time.

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In addition, you get these side effects while you are trying to cope with cancer and recovering from surgery or other treatments as well. The last thing that people who are going through this want to do is to eat, however, solid nutrition will be what gives your body and mind the strength to fight back and get back to better health.

Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatments and the Need For Good Nutrition

While each patient should follow individual recommendations from their doctor for their own care, it is generally agreed that those who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer care need to have increased nutrition which includes:

- Whey and other protein supplements for health and caloric boost

- Glutamine, an amino acid found in proteins

- Antioxidants

- Green tea

Whey Protein, Protein Supplements and MCT

The reasons that most cancer patients lose a lot of weight are simple: a lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting as well as diarrhea which are common side-effects and finally, the fact that a large portion of the foods that are eaten will not be absorbed properly by the body because of the chemotherapy. These three factors working together can make the chemo patient weaker and weaker and may leave them susceptible for a number of infections and other problems at their worst moment.

MCT - MCT is a highly absorbable, high calorie oil containing a fat which is a medium chain triglycerides. There are a number of different products which contain MCT, available from your health care professional who can also recommend how much of the product you should use.

Whey Protein-- Whey protein is easily absorbable and boosts the immune system in a number of ways, first by supplying immunoglobulins. Whey protein also helps to boost the optimal intake of other proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals for overall health. Glutathione is increased by whey protein. Glutathione is an antioxidant which is necessary for a healthy immune system. (See the antioxidant section for more information) Glutathione also lowers the risk of some infections and may inhibit the growth of some tumors. (Source: Badger)

Whey protein is an optimal source of amino acids, necessary for a number of the body's functions. The whey protein isolate has 90% protein but less lactose, especially beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant (Source: Segounis). In addition, whey protein is also important to prevent muscle breakdown which may be a problem in the presence of lowered caloric intake. The body, needing energy will use up the energy reserves and will then turn to the muscles for more energy, breaking them down and leaving the body even weaker.

Protein Supplements -- A lack of appetite can be a major problem. If there is a moment when you do feel hungry, you should have a snack that is handy to have when you are ready. Protein snacks and supplements include shakes, bars and liquid protein supplement shots. Protein bars should have a high amount of protein but limited sugars because the sugar, can depress an already stressed immune system.

Supplements like the liquid protein shot, is a good choice because it is portable (it comes in a virtually non-breakable plastic tube) small enough to be carried anywhere, and can be consumed in only a few seconds (it is 2.9 fluid ounces). It gives a full 25 grams of protein per serving as well.

Glutamine -- Glutamine is an important amino acid, one of many that is synthesized by the human body on its own. Adding a supplement of this amino acid can protect the cells which line the intestinal tract and can be damaged by chemotherapy or radiation treatments. (Source: Gottlieb, 2000). Before adding any type of supplement however, speak to your doctor who may have other suggestions or may disagree with their use.

Amino acids are important, and are the building blocks that many functions are built upon. The body makes a number of amino acids beyond glutamine, however, it cannot make eight of them. The eight amino acids not made by the body must come from the foods that we eat- both from animal and plant based sources.

Animal proteins are complete, meaning that they have all eight of these amino acids. Plant proteins are not complete because they typically are missing one or more of the amino acids. The only exception to this is soy protein which is complete. The eight essential amino acids are: threonine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and lysine. In children, histadine is also needed from food sources.

Antioxidants -- Antioxidants are meant to prevent the damage of free radicals in the body. Free radicals also multiply in the body because of sun damage, smoking, poor diet and other factors. Whether antioxidants are good for cancer patients or not is a serious debate. Chemotherapy generates free radicals to destroy the cancerous cells. On one side of this debate are the doctors who believe that since antioxidants seek out and neutralize free radicals, then those who are using chemo should avoid antioxidants or at the very least not add extras to their diet. However, there are doctors who think that antioxidants not only boosts the effectiveness of the chemo or radiation treatment, but also lessens the worrisome side effects! (Source: Gottlieb, 2000)

Your own doctor may be on the opposite side of the antioxidant debate than you yourself are. You may want to present your side of the issue and work out a discussion together. Your best care depends on everyone being on the same page, working as a team.

Green Tea -- Green tea, as well as other teas can help people to feel better. It also is beneficial for its anti-cancer properties. You can drink several cups of green tea per day, either hot or cold depending on taste. In addition, you can use green tea supplements as well. Again, before starting any supplements, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.


Dr. Thomas Badger, the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Bill Gottlieb. Alternative Cures, The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems. Orion Press. United States of America 2000

Sofia Segounis, Nutritionist. Protein Powders

Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatments and the Need For Good Nutrition

About Protica Research

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm specializing in the development of protein-rich, capsulized foods (dense nutrition in compact liquid and food forms). Protica manufactures Profect protein beverage, IsoMetric, Fruitasia and more than 100 other brands in its GMP-certified, 250,000 square foot facility.

You can learn more about Protica at

Copyright - Protica Research -

Case Study - A Different Look at Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors and Nutrition

The leading cause of both death and disability in the United States is coronary heart disease, accounting for about 40% of all deaths. A million new cases of coronary heart disease are diagnosed every year as well. There are many forms of coronary heart disease, including myocardial infarction and angina pectoris, both caused most typically by veins and arteries that are blocked off and narrowed by deposits called plaque. Known medically as atherosclerosis, this blockage prevents oxygen-rich blood from making it to the heart or can block off blood flow to other areas of the body, including the brain. This reduced flow of blood to the brain can result in a cerebral vascular accident, commonly referred to as a stroke.

There are four major types of risk factors for coronary heart disease, some that can be changed and some that cannot. These four types include bodily characteristics, health habits, community, lifestyle and cultural factors and personality. Each of these four categories includes several sub-headings that should be considered individually to assess the real risk of coronary heart disease.

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Bodily Characteristics

Case Study - A Different Look at Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors and Nutrition

These include age, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol, obesity and heredity. Of these, hypertension, cholesterol and obesity are changeable, while age and heredity are obviously not something that can be changed by anyone. Obesity may be the most important factor to change because it can influence the others positively. For instance, even a small reduction in weight can lower the cholesterol level as well as the blood pressure.

Gender is an important consideration as well. Coronary heart disease is a major killer of men starting at age 39, and for women the increased risk begins at 66. Women will often have chest pain for a very long time before they suffer an actual heart attack, but theirs will more likely be fatal. (For women, the rule is typically one and done, while the opposite is true for men). It is generally accepted that if a man is having any chest pains, he is already actively having a heart attack. It is also important to note that some of the accepted tests for heart disease may miss clues in women because of differences in the way that their arteries and veins are made.

Stress and Personal Life Styles

Although coronary heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States, the rate of death has decreased roughly 35% in the last forty years and is progressively decreasing. There are several factors that influence this progress, including better education about general good health. There are several studies that have been done in regard to personality types as well - identifying the Type A personality (high stress, hurried, competitive and hostile) which is at a high rate for heart attack and the Type B personality, which is more relaxed and less at risk.

Although most people assume that it is the stress that is the impetus for heart disease, it is not the case. Hostility is a bigger factor for determining the risk factors for coronary heart disease, with the more hostile people at higher risk for having a fatal heart episode.

Can Loneliness Cause Heart Disease?

Having a support system and social network can help to alleviate some of the stress that is felt through life, whether or not it is a typical stressor or something more serious. Support that is given by a woman has been shown by studies to have more impact on good health than that of a man, regardless of who is getting the support. Another study showed that pet owners had lower rates of coronary heart disease as well as lower blood pressure than non-pet owners.


The number of adults who are considered to have pre-hypertension is 20% of the population in the United States. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major factor for coronary heart disease and is considered by most to be one of the most common and leading causes to consider. Chronic anger and stress can raise hypertension in many people, especially for those who are more susceptible to it. (Type A personalities, for example).

Finding ways to reduce stress and to accept the stress that cannot be changed is important not only to physical health but to mental health as well. However, one of the most common sources of stress seems to be the workplace.

Reducing Risks of Coronary Heart Disease: A Case Study

Beth is 68, and her son, Bret, is 38. Both have been diagnosed with heart disease and both have been directed by their doctors to make changes in their lifestyle and to reduce their risk factors as much as possible. Beth is twenty pounds over her optimal weight, while her son is fifty pounds over his own. Neither of them is very active any more, although they both enjoyed golf, bowling and tennis in the past. Neither of them is a smoker, which is a plus; however, both of them have major stress in their lives. Beth just retired from a job that she enjoyed and she finds herself lonely most of the day, unable to figure out what to do with her newfound time. Bret, on the other hand, has been very busy, trying to find a new job because he loathes the man that he works with, he loathes his office and he loathes his job in general.

The first step for mother and son is finding a new dietary plan and returning to exercise. Tennis is not on the horizon quite yet, however, but golf and bowling might be enough for right now. They are both going to reduce the amount of red meat that they eat and eliminate all simple carbohydrates from their diet. They are also going to swap out their fat sources for healthier fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids.

Bret is not as dedicated as his mother and she is soon well on the way to her goals. Her weight is down by fifteen pounds, and her blood pressure and cholesterol levels are within normal limits. She has moved beyond the weekly golf games and bowling with her son and added daily walks; one day a week she adds a jog for the last part of her walk, adding a little more distance every day as she gets stronger and stronger. Beth's last five pounds are no longer a problem, as they are now healthy, lean muscle mass instead of flab.

Both Bret and Beth have added a liquid protein supplement to their daily diet as well, with Bret using his as a between-meal snack and Beth using hers as a meal replacement. (She is smaller and does not need to eat as much as her son.) The liquid protein shot gives them both 25 grams of protein per serving, 100 calories and the whole day's worth of vitamin C. They each have their favorite flavor and have their rituals to consume them. Bret always has his on the way back to the office after lunch, while Beth has hers in the park after her walk/jog on sunny days.

Case Study - A Different Look at Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors and Nutrition

About Protica Research

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm specializing in the development of protein-rich, capsulized foods (dense nutrition in compact liquid and food forms). Protica manufactures Profect protein beverage, IsoMetric, Fruitasia and more than 100 other brands in its GMP-certified, 250,000 square foot facility.

You can learn more about Protica at

Copyright - Protica Research -

Protein Shakes and Weight Gain

The most important supplement that you can take to gain weight by building muscle is protein shakes. They are basically the only supplement that I have ever used. They are completely safe, unless you are taking a crazy amount like 700 grams in a single day. There are no side effects or anything. So why are protein shakes so important? Protein is definitely the most important part of your diet when you are working on building muscle and gaining weight, and is the building block of muscle. Without protein you body cannot build muscle.

But cant I get enough protein from my regular diet? Why do I need these extra protein shakes? Of course you can get protein from your regular diet, however we all know that when we are trying to gain weight we need to be eating at least 1 gram of protein for each pound of your body weight. It is extremely hard for you to get this amount of protein from your regular diet.


Do you have time to be eating steak all day long? Of course not, this is why you need to be taking protein shakes. They are quick and easy, just scoop out the powder into your glass and add the liquid of your choice. The average scoop is about 18 grams which makes obtaining your daily protein limits much easier to obtain.

Protein Shakes and Weight Gain

I am not saying cut proteins out of your regular diet. Protein shakes are a muscle building supplement, they should be unused in addition to your regular diet - not instead of. The best times to be feeding your body with whey protein is early morning before breakfast, or just after you have completed your workout.

Protein Shakes and Weight Gain

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