Nutritional Support for CF

Cystic fibrosis is a disease in which nutrition plays an important role. First of all, the gastro-intestinal effects of CF can limit the amount of nutrients that CF persons absorb from their food, including not only calories from sources such as fat, but also fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Second, the exuberant inflammation of cystic fibrosis can cause a condition of cachexia, or wasting, putting CF persons at risk for a low body mass index (BMI). Studies have shown a very tight relationship between BMI, on the one hand, and lung function and mortality on the other. The higher a CF person's BMI, the better their health and the longer their life expectancy. CF persons need a much higher daily caloric intake than persons without that disease; in addition to the above considerations, the resting energy expenditure of a CF person is higher than normal. Since CF persons are at risk to develop CF-related diabetes, nutrition becomes an important adjunct in the prevention and treatment of that condition. Last, certain foods may actually have therapeutic effects on the CF gut, such as curcumin.

For all of these reasons, a CF person should have excellent nutritional support. The links below highlight only a few select topics, but there are many excellent resources on the internet--simply google "cystic fibrosis nutrition."

Links on Nutrition