Calogen, made by Nutricia, is our main focus in this article. Does Nutricia Calogen Drink for Elderly really works? When would it not work? Some of the many questions will be addressed in this article.

There’s always been a slight confusion between Calogen and Calogen Extra. What exactly are the differences between these two oral nutritional supplements? Can a person with diabetes or a hypertension use Calogen? These are some of the other questions that will be answered in the course of this article.

Let’s get started…

You may need to change your diet as you age and become elderly.

Asides from our seniors, sick patients also tend to experience loss of appetite and eat less. As their energy gets depleted, they start to lose weight and suffer malnutrition – a major risk factor linked to several other diseases.

Older people living with diabetes are at a huge risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), with the progression of time.

If you have kidney disease, your doctor may have told you about all the necessary diet changes that you need to make to manage your medical condition.

Some of these changes may include:

  • eating a low-protein diet
  • limiting fluids
  • limiting salt, phosphorus, potassium and other electrolytes, and
  • fortifying your calorie intake if you are experiencing weight loss.

As the disease progresses or becomes worse and the patient is put on dialysis, these diet changes will help limit the amount of waste and fluid built up in the body. Dialysis patients urinate very little, so fluid build-up in the body can cause excess fluid in the lungs and heart.

In short, there is a role for Calogen drink regardless of the reasons mentioned above and beyond.

But first, let’s start with knowing about Calogen and its uses.

What is Nutricia Calogen?

Calogen is a ready-to-use, high energy (4.5 kcal/ml), protein-free, and shot-style oral nutritional supplement (ONS).

A long chain triglyceride (LCT) fat emulsion is designed to supplement the diet of individuals who find it difficult to meet necessary energy requirements from their usual diet.

In the 200ml bottle of Calogen is a fat emulsion derived from vegetable oils, which contribute to the high amount of energy in the medical drink. It totals 50 grams of fat per 100 ml. A little 30 ml shot for convenience and dosage is included atop the bottle cap.

If there was a simple definition for Calogen, it would be an ‘energy bomb’.

It is specifically made for individuals in need of high amounts of energy, such as the malnourished, and patients on a special diet.

Calogen comes in a variety of 3 flavours – Neutral, Strawberry and Banana.

There are two sets of volume available for Calogen – 200 ml and 500 ml bottles.

Banana flavour is only available in the 500 ml volume, while neutral flavour is in 200 ml.

Features of Calogen

  • High energy (135 kcal/30 ml shot)

That is to support individuals with fluid restriction and/or high energy requirements.

  • Designed as a shot-style suitable for dispensing during medication rounds

Compared to standard multi-nutrient oral nutritional supplements, Calogen has an improved oral nutritional supplement compliance.

  • Suitable for use alongside other oral nutritional supplements and/or regular diet

Provides support for energy intake when the regular diet is not enough to meet requirements.

  • Micronutrient-free and Electrolyte-free

Suitable for patients with medical conditions requiring some mineral restrictions, such as renal/kidney disease.

  • Protein-free and Fibre-free

Suitable for patients requiring residue and/or protein-restricted diet.

  • Suitable for dispensing as an energy enhancer in tube feeds or as a low-volume energy supplement
  • Easy to blend into fluids and foods

To create variety and for convenience, it can be mixed into meals.

  • Ergonomic user-friendly bottle

Easy to open and reseal cap.

Nutritional Content of Calogen

30 ml shot of 200 ml Neutral flavoured Calogen contains the following nutritional information.

Nutrition

Amount

Value

Energy

135

Kcal

Protein

0

g

Carbohydrate

0.03

g

Fat of which

15

g

Saturates

1.6

g

Monounsaturates

9.1

g

Polyunsaturates

4.3

g

Fibre

0

g

Water

13.5

g

Minerals

  

Sodium

2.1

mg

Chloride

0.03

mg

Osmolality

5

mOsmol/kgH2O

Ingredients

Neutral flavoured Calogen contains these ingredients:

  • Vegetable oils (sunflower oil, rapeseed oil),
  • Emulsifier (citric acid esters of mono and diglycerides of fatty acids), and
  • Demineralised water.

Use of Calogen

  • High energy requirements

Certain conditions require fortification of energy intake with a high-fat supplement, where Cologen can also benefit you from.

  • Disease-related Malnutrition (DRM)

Malnourished patients need a lot of calorie and nutrition to improve their conditions, and maintain their body mass.

  • Renal disease

Patients with renal disease – or kidney disease, are required to keep up with a lot of restrictions such as protein, residue, electrolyte, and mineral restrictions.

As directed by their general practitioner, following these restrictions and other forms of advice, helps to manage the disease well.

  • Fluid and electrolyte restricted patients

Works well for patients on a fluid, vitamins and mineral restricted diet.

  • Other conditions

Several other conditions can also benefit from using Calogen. Conditions such as HIV, COPD and cystic fibrosis, who also have to manage their medical conditions with diet change, can use Calogen.

Dosage

Suggested intake as recommended by the manufacturing company is 30ml Calogen shot 3 times per day, administered during medicine rounds.

Always use as directed by a healthcare professional.

Precaution

This oral nutritional supplement is a Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP), and can only be administered under strict supervision by a healthcare professional.

Calogen is NOT suitable for conditions including:

  • Patients with galactosaemia.
  • Strawberry flavoured Calogen is unsuitable for children less than 3 years of age.
  • Product may need to be diluted for children under 5 years of age.
  • Not for parenteral use
  • Unsuitable for use as a single source of nutrition

Pros

  • Other flavours are slightly higher in calories, such as banana flavour
    (468 kcal/100ml) and strawberry flavour (467 kcal/100 ml).
  • Calogen is quite affordable and easily available.

Cons

  • Cannot be used for parenteral purposes.
  • Banana flavour only comes in a 500 ml bottle.

Calogen vs Calogen Extra – What is The Difference?

 

Calogen

Calogen Extra

Energy

135 kcal/30 ml shot

(4.5 kcal/ml)

160 kcal/ 40 ml shot

(4 kcal/ml)

Shot size

30 ml

40 ml

Protein per Shot

2 grams

No of vitamins  

13

No of minerals & trace elements

3

15

Calogen is made to be almost the same as Calogen Extra. They are both high energy, LCT fat emulsions. The differences lie in the amount of energy and the presence of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Calogen (4.5 kcal/ml) is more energy-dense compared to Calogen Extra (4.5 kcal/ml). The minerals, micronutrients and vitamins present in Calogen Extra are not available in Calogen, due to the special purpose intended for the product.

They are both shot-style oral nutritional supplements. However, Calogen is measured as a 30 ml shot, whereas Calogen Extra uses a 40 ml shot.

Finally, Calogen is designed for DRM, malabsorption states, energy-dense requirements with/without fluid and electrolyte restrictions. In contrast, Calogen Extra is designed for DRM, malabsorption states, energy-dense requirements with/without fluid restrictions.

The differences are an ‘Extra’ boost to the formula, so that they can serve different purposes in varying medical conditions.

Tip: Here is our Nutricia Fortisip Compact Protein Review.

Can You Use Calogen With Type 2 Diabetes?

Calogen contains no added sugar. In fact, it has no sugar at all and poses no threat to your blood glucose levels.

Although it was not made specifically for diabetics, depending on the medical condition of the patient, it may be prescribed alongside usual meals or other types of oral nutritional supplement (ONS).

Diabetes – no matter the type, is a major risk factor for kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Sadly, a large number of diabetics eventually suffer from kidney failure.

Calogen is an oral nutritional supplement usually prescribed to patients with kidney disease. So, it may be safe for a diabetic with kidney disease or any other related disease to consume.  

On the other hand, excessive fat intake may inhibit insulin sensitivity, which is a detriment.

If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to consult with your healthcare professional for guidance.

Can You Use Calogen With High Blood Pressure?

You may have heard that a high-fat diet is a major risk factor for heart disease. But, that actually depends on the type of fat you are consuming. Fats are, after all, a good source of calories.

You know that of the 3 types of fats – unsaturated fat, saturated fat, and trans-fat – Calogen contains unsaturated fats (13.4 g/30 ml) and saturated fats (1.6 g/30 ml).

Let’s throw more insight on this.

  • Unsaturated fats

These are ‘good’ fats that can improve blood cholesterol levels, stabilize heart rhythms and ease inflammation. It comes in two forms – polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats.

Calogen is made from vegetable oils – sunflower oil and rapeseed oil – high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat.

Research shows that consuming these ‘good’ fats reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol levels, which reduces high blood pressure.

  • Saturated fats

Anything edible containing fat must have a mix of particular types of fats.

Although saturated fats are considered harmful, recent studies suggest diets high in saturated fats does not necessarily increase the risk of heart disease.

There are mixed thoughts on this. Nonetheless, unsaturated fats remain the healthiest choice.

Calogen contains zero trans-fat, and more of the ‘good’ fat, which lowers the risk of heart disease.

Talk with your healthcare professional, who will determine if Calogen is right for your condition.

Tip: Here’s our Cubitan Review For Wound Healing And Recovery.

Can The Elderly Use Calogen?

Elderly patients can use Calogen to sustain energy and maintain health.

Our seniors, who are at the later stages of their lives, are usually faced with many health challenges. When they begin to eat less portions of their meals and subsequently start losing weight, Calogen can help them maintain their body mass and stay energized.

They may already be suffering from an illness, hospitalized and going through medical treatment.

Elderly patients, once diagnosed with diabetes, are prone to suffer diabetes complications
later in life such as disease-related malnutrition or renal disease.

Nutritional health remains a crucial and under-utilized aspect in the treatment of any illness or disease.

Healthcare professionals themselves know the importance of nutrition in medical treatment. And that is why you may be referred to a dietician, or your doctor will brief you on the right things to eat and what to stay away from.

Tip: We covered on Diasip and Diabetes too.

What Does Research Say?

A randomized controlled trial assessed the effect of energy-dense oral nutritional supplement (ONS) on nutritional status, physical function and food intake of the participants. The trial was conducted within five nursing care homes, with participants consisting of elderly people aged 65 and above, who were either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.

The intervention was a 30 ml combined energy-dense fat emulsion formula, administered 3 times daily for a period of 6 weeks.

The results showed significant improvement in the nutritional status of the participants. They had positive effects on blood lipids and fatty acid profile, as well as a hint of antithrombotic effect.

A more recent randomized control study of 240 patients was conducted to determine the effects of oral fat-based energy-dense supplements on dialysis patients. Some of the patients took 300kcal of an oral fat-based energy-dense supplement daily for 12 weeks, while the rest received routine care without nutritional supplementation.

Diabetic patients were not selected as participants due to the impact excess fat intake may have on insulin sensitivity, according to the researchers.

The results showed no significant difference in the nutritional status of both groups.

Research studies on oral fat-based energy-dense oral supplements (such as Calogen) have mixed results. There is not enough research to draw up a conclusive evidence. However, there are no reported adverse effects of the supplement, saving some gastrointestinal problems.

Tip: Did you know Souvenaid could prevent Dementia?

Conclusion

Calogen is one of the fastest ways used to raise the energy levels of patients in need of it.

Healthcare professionals can prescribe it to their patients with medical conditions requiring less fluid, less protein, less electrolytes and more energy.

For the dosing convenience of patients in the hospital or nursing homes, the product is designed with a 30 ml shot style.

Although Calogen contains no sugar, it may not be entirely safe for a diabetic due to the high-fat content, which may impact insulin sensitivity.

Furthermore, the fat content is derived from healthy sources rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats have a lot of benefits, even to a hypertensive.

You can easily purchase Calogen from their Nutricia online store, or any online health store or pharmacy. More importantly, consulting with your healthcare professional should be your first priority.