Oral nutritional supplements in Oncology

Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) play a role in cancer patients' journey

ESPEN (2016)1 and ESPEN (2021)2 highlight the role that nutritional intevention plays in Oncology patients.

ESPEN (2016)and ESPEN (2021)2 highlight the role that nutritional intevention plays in Oncology patients.

Nutritional interventions are recommended to increase oral intake in cancer patients who are able to eat but are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. This includes dietary advice, the treatment of symptoms and derangements impairing food intake (nutrition impact symptoms), and offering oral nutritional supplements."

Causes of reduced nutritional intake

The causes of reduced nutritional intake are complex and multifactorial.¹ Two prevelant causes of malnutrition in oncology patients are Taste Disturbance and Poor appetite:

Chart showing causes of weight loss oncology

Supporting taste disturbance in Cancer patients through ONS

Taste and smell alterations may develop throughout the course of the disease, before, during and up to one year after treatment.¹ Taste alterations could lead to a reduced intake of food and therefore have a negative impact on the nutritional status with up to 25% reduction in nutritional intake, leading to greater weight loss.3,4

Fortisip Compact Protein - innovative taste sensations

The Fortisip Compact Protein range has been developed with a wide range of flavours, providing a flavour variety to your patients can help prevent taste fatigue.5 A high energy,  high protein, low volume ONS with specific warming and cooling sensations appreciated in patients with Cancer.6 Addressing the needs of taste alterations in cancer through creating sensations could help with compliance.

Three Fortisip bottles in various flavours: neutral, hot tropical ginger and cool red fruits

Supporting reduced appetite in Cancer patients through ONS

Low volume ONS may make it easier to consume the energy levels needed7,8, particularly with reported side effects in oncology patients. Compliance with low volume 125ml ONS is significantly better than standard ONS.7,8

Compliance with ONS7

Oncology compliance graph

Adapted from Hubbard et al. 20128


Fortisip Compact Protein - nutritional support at every stage of recovery

Fortisip Compact Protein has been developed, offering a high energy, high protein, low volume ONS with 90% compliance.9

FSCP Maurice unwinding bottle

  1. Arends et al. Clin Nutr. 2016;36(1):11-48
  2. Muscaritoli, Arends, Bachmann et al. Clin Nutr. 2021; 40: 2898-2913.
  3. Spotten et al. Ann Oncol. 2017;28(5):969-984
  4. Brisbois et al. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011;41(4):673-683.
  5. Ravasco. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2005;9 Suppl 2:S84-91.
  6. de Haan et al. Support Care Cancer. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-021-06049-4 
  7. Hubbard GP. et al. Clin Nutr. 2012; 31: 293-312
  8. Hubbard GP. et al. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 2012;69(OCE2):E16
  9. Brown et al. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Ageing. 2020;24:305–11.
  10. Cawood AC et al. Ageing Res Rev. 2012; 11: 278–296

*Product can be provided to patients upon the request of a Healthcare Professional. They are intended for the purpose of
professional evaluation only.

Fortisip Compact Protein are a Foods for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of disease-related malnutrition and must be used under medical supervision.


Nutricia offers access to a wide range of support services and resources including:

  • • Our free Sampling Service to order product samples and have them sent to your patients' homes.
  • • A range of CPD accredited e-learning programmes.
  • • Order free paper copies of our support tools for yourself or to use with your patients.
  • • Sign up to receiving marketing communications and be the first to know about our free educational events & webinars, the latest scientific research and product updates.