Vegan Tube Feeding

Update Feb 8, 2014: There is now a vegan tube feeding product on the market, Liquid Hope by Functional Formularies.

I received the following question:

“My husband is going to require a feeding tube for the next couple months and I cannot find any commercial products that are vegan. Any idea if I could meet his nutritional needs using say a VitaMix and pureeing his vegan food? Any ideas would be most helpful.”

In further correspondence, I found out his tube is abdominal which is good because they are larger than the nasal tubes.

A fellow RD sent me this link which was very helpful (thanks, Debbie!):

http://csn.cancer.org/node/205380

And I told the person who wrote me that I would make a blog post to see if anyone else has experience with vegan tube feeding and to create a page that people can refer to in the future. So, please comment if you have some good info.

Thanks!

9 Responses to “Vegan Tube Feeding”

  1. Leslie Riding, RD Says:

    Hi Jack,

    I haven’t done it myself, but there are many resources online about blenderized tube feeding. The Oley Foundation has some good information (pros/cons) listed here: http://www.oley.org/lifeline/TubetalkSO07.html.

    Powdered multivit/min are available, although you might want to double check with the manufacturer regarding if they are truly vegan. One product I am aware of is Phlexy Vits by Nutricia North America.

    And finally, some out of the box thinking… perhaps supplement with an infant/pediatric soy formula? I’m not aware of any adult formulations at this time.

    I would definitely recommend that whatever plan comes together, to have a dietitian look it over and check for nutritional adequacy.

    Wishing this patient the best of luck, and I hope some good resources come together on this topic!

  2. Meghan Says:

    I just wanted to state my interest in this topic. As a nursing student, I’m curious what options are out there for my future patients. I’m also curious about non-soy based options for those who are soy intolerant.

  3. Roslyn Dahl Says:

    There are more tips on blenderized tube feeding on the Oley Foundation web site at http://www.oley.org/tubetalks.html — scroll down to the section on formula: commercial and homemade.

    An article that might be helpful on finding a formula that does not contain soy is posted at:
    http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/medicine/divisions/digestive-health/nutrition-support-team/nutrition-articles/MaloneArticle.pdf

  4. Suzette Hatfield Says:

    My best friend had a J-tube following treatment for gastro-esophageal cancer. After reacting badly to a variety of commercial products, she ended up having doses of coconut milk through the tube. She started out with canned but was encouraged to go with fresh because of the nutritional value. Research had shown that coconut milk was an effective nutrient for pediatric patients. Because of the fat content of coconut milk, this regimen helped her to hold, then gain, weight.

  5. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Suzette,

    Thanks for the input! Was there nothing in her tube feedings other than coconut milk? And do you know who encouraged her to go with the fresh rather than the canned?

  6. Jack Norris RD Says:

    This just in:

    I saw your post regarding the man with the temporaty tube feeding.
    Generally, I wouldn’t recommend just blenderizing food- too easy to clog the tube ;) And if they water it down enough, they dilute the nutrients which means huge volume. There is an adult tube feeding formula that is soy, it’s Fibersource HN by Nestle…It’s vegetarian, would be vegan except for added D3. If they’d accept that, you just need to calculate volume to meet his needs…

  7. Jason Holden, RD Says:

    I just heard of a product called “liquid hope,” made by functional formularies. I have no experience with it, so I cannot vouch for its quality or safety, but it is a “whole food” based vegan formula. They even use vitamin D2. Looking at the nutrient information, I would be a little concerned about someone using it as their only source of nutrition due to the low mineral/electrolyte content. However, if a vegan patient works carefully with an experienced registered dietitian, this could be a good option. They will probably need to use higher volume flushes and add some sort of micronutrient supplement to their regimen. Another caution is that it states it should be strained because being a whole food product, it may have some particulates. I assume this wouldn’t effect the nutrient content significantly, but you never know.

  8. Karolin Saweres, RD, LD Says:

    Fibersource HN or Isosource HN are vegan “appropriate”. They use Vitamin D3 which is extracted from sheep’s wool but has no animal reminants & does not harm the animal. I confirmed this with Nestle’.

  9. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Jeff Novick (www.JeffNovick.com) has reported that there is now a vegan tube feeding product on the market, Liquid Hope by Functional Formularies:

    http://functionalformularies.com/liquid-meals/#sthash.PD87xBzD.dpbs

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