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Tag Archives: phenylalanine

Why can’t I just follow a low protein diet?

The simplest answer is because you need protein.  Following a low protein diet without formula could lead to protein deficiency. You may also lack energy and develop an array of secondary health problems.

PKU formula  provides phenylalanine-free protein.  Since all natural food, with the exception of pure fat and sugar, contain some PHE, you must watch your total food intake. If you only eat foods that are low in protein you body may not get enought daily protein.  In addition, eating larger portions of foods that are ‘lower’ in protein can still add up to up more phenylalanine than you can tolerate in a day, resulting in high blood PHE levels.

Formula allows you to take in PHE-free protein and calories to help you meet your daily needs.   PKU formula can also help you feel less hungry.   Controling hunger is important becasue despite your best efforts to only eat low protein, excess hunger may lead you to consume some foods that are higher in protein or larger portions.

Don’t forget – drinking PKU formula also provides a balance of all the other amino acids (building blocks of protein) you need plus tyrosine which is an essential amino acid (needed from food) for those with PKU.

If you are currently not drinking formula and only watching what you eat, assess the reasons why you are not going ‘all in’ on your PKU diet.

  • Are you uncertain if your insurance covers formula or have you been denied in the past?
  • Do you recall from childhood hating your formula and not wanting to drink it?
  • Just stopped re-ordering for no good reason at all?

If any of these ring a bell, let Nutricia help you.

We offer a complimentary samples and a staff of trained coverage specialist that can help navigate your insurance to see if you have coverage and help find a local supplier.

Don’t delay – getting back on track and including PKU formula in your diet will be one decision you will not regret.

Request a free PKU product sample at www.medicalfood.com


Posted by: Sandy Simons, MA, RD, CHES

Sandy is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Education Specialist. She received her graduate training at Columbia University’s Teacher College in New York. She has been working on the industry side of metabolic nutrition for the past 11 years and is often seen at patient events around the country. This post is based on an excerpt from My PKU Toolkit: A Transition Guide to Adult PKU Management.

New Artificial Sweeter – OK for PKU?

FDA Approves New Artificial Sweetener

A new sugar substitute called advantame was approved on Monday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Advantame is chemically similar to aspartame (Equal), and certain people should avoid or limit their use of aspartame, the FDA noted.

These people have a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU), which makes it difficult for them to metabolize phenylalanine, a component of both aspartame and advantame. Food with aspartame must include label information warning people with PKU about the presence of phenylalanine.

The FDA evaluated whether advantame should also carry alerts for people with PKU. Because advantame is much sweeter than aspartame, only a small amount is needed to achieve the same level of sweetness.  As a result, foods that contain advantame do not need to include alerts for people with PKU, the FDA said.

Be sure to talk to your metabolic professional if they feel advantame is suitable for your diet.  Currently, the exact PHE content has not been reported.

SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news releases, May 19, 2014