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Nutritional Intake after Liver Transplant: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Richardson, Holly 
Imamura, Fumiaki 


Cardiovascular disease and its concurrent risk factors are prevalent after liver transplant (LT). Most of these risk factors are modifiable by diet. We aimed to synthesise the literature reporting the nutritional intake of liver transplant recipients (LTR) and the potential determinants of intake. We performed a systematic review and meta-analyses of studies published up until July 2021 reporting the nutritional intake of LTR. The pooled daily mean intakes were recorded as 1998 (95% CI 1889, 2108) kcal, 17 (17, 18)% energy from protein, 49 (48, 51)% energy from carbohydrates, 34 (33, 35)% energy from total fat, 10 (7, 13)% energy from saturated fat, and 20 (18, 21) g of fibre. The average fruit and vegetable intake ranged from 105 to 418 g/day. The length of time post-LT and the age and sex of the cohorts, as well as the continent and year of publication of each study, were sources of heterogeneity. Nine studies investigated the potential determinants of intake, time post-LT, gender and immunosuppression medication, with inconclusive results. Energy and protein requirements were not met in the first month post-transplant. After this point, energy intake was significantly higher and remained stable over time, with a high fat intake and low intake of fibre, fruits and vegetables. This suggests that LTR consume a high-energy, low-quality diet in the long term and do not adhere to the dietary guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention.


Peer reviewed: True


diet, liver transplant, nutrition, Humans, Cardiovascular Diseases, Liver Transplantation, Diet, Eating, Fruit, Vegetables

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Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) (146281)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/6)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/3)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)