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Nutrition, dietary intake, and eating behavior after liver transplantation

Anastácio, Lucilene Rezende; Ferreira, Samanta Catherine

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care: September 2018 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 381–387
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000491
NUTRITION AND THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT: Edited by M. Isabel T.D. Correia and Alastair Forbes

Purpose of review Nutritional status of patients after liver transplantation is affected by dietary intake and this, in turn, is affected by eating behavior. The present review will highlight recent studies on these topics after liver transplantation.

Recent findings Malnutrition drops significantly after liver transplantation. Recovery of weight lost during liver disease occurs within 1 year. Liver transplantation recipients gain weight up to the second or third year, often becoming overweight and obese. Muscle mass may not recover completely, and sarcopenia could increase within 1 year after liver transplantation. Some studies, but not all, demonstrated modifications of food intake before and after liver transplantation. A positive energy balance was found in the first year, and a greater energy intake along time after liver transplantation, although some authors mentioned potential underreporting of the true consumption, mainly among people overweight/obese. Dietary survey methods are unable to detect eating behavior, resulting in a lack of data. Weight gain and obesity were related to higher scores for patterns of eating behaviors after liver transplantation. Food deprivation in the pretransplantation period and psychological factors could affect eating behavior and consequently food intake and nutritional status of liver transplantation patients.

Summary Understanding eating behavior after liver transplantation could be key knowledge regarding dietary intake and its impact on nutritional modifications occurring after liver transplantation.

Post-Graduation Program of Food Science, Food Science Department, Pharmacy School, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

Correspondence to Lucilene Rezende Anastácio, PhD, Food Science Department, Pharmacy School, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Presidente Antônio Carlos Avenue, 6627, Pampulha Campus, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, 31270-901, Brazil. Tel: +55 031 3409 6917; fax: +55 (31) 3409 6989; e-mail:

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