Background: Elderly people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have an increased risk of diabetes-related microvascular and macrovascular complications, thus diabetic patients with a functioning gastrointestinal tract but without sufficient oral intake require enteral nutrition (EN) formulas to control blood glucose. White sweet potato (WSP) was a kind of sweet potato could provide a healthy carbohydrate source to EN formula. The aim of this study was to examine at risk of malnutrition T2DM patients whether a WSP-EN would attenuate glucose response and elevate nutritional index compared to a standard polymeric formulas.
Methods: In this randomized, parallel, placebo-controlled, pilot clinical trial to investigate the effects of EN with WSP on aged residents with T2DM in long-term care institutions. In total, 54 eligible participants were randomly assigned to either the non-WSP-EN or WSP-EN group. For 60 days, the WSP-EN group received a WSP formula through nasogastric tube via a stoma with a large-bore syringe. The participants received EN of standard polymeric formulas without WSP in the non-WSP-EN group.
Results: The body weight, body mass index, Mini Nutritional Assessment score, and Geriatric Nutritional Risk Index were significantly higher in the WSP-EN group ( p < 0.05). Moreover, the WSP-EN intervention reduced glycated hemoglobin levels (6.73% ± 1.47% vs. 6.40% ± 1.16%), but increased transferrin (223.06 ± 38.85 vs. 245.85 ± 46.08 mg/dL), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (42.13 ± 10.56 vs. 44.25 ± 8.43 mg/dL), and vitamin A (2.45 ± 0.77 vs 2.74 ± 0.93 μM) levels ( p < 0.05). In addition, there was no important side effects including gastrointestinal intolerance with prescribed doses in our WSP-EN treated patients when compared with control ones.
Conclusions: The results suggest WSP incorporated into enteral formulas can improve nutrition status and glycemic control in elderly diabetic patients.
Trial registration: NCT02711839, registered 27 May 2015.
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