Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS)

Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS) are sterilized semi-solids, powders or liquids designed to provide micro and macronutrients.

They are commonly used within the community and acute health settings for individuals who are incapable of meeting their nutritional needs via oral diet alone. These supplements help you get more protein, energy, minerals, and vitamins, and there various flavors of Oral Nutritional Supplements you can choose from including:

  • Juice-based
  • Yogurt or milkshake-type supplements
  • Pudding or dessert type
  • Savory flavored supplements that can be mildly heated to prepare a nourishing soup
  • Liquids and powders can be added to drinks or foods to make them more nourishing

ONS Supplements are designed to complement your diet, not entirely replace your snacks or meals. They may be prescribed in the short-run during a period of acute illness, but also for people who have long-term chronic diseases. Indications for its use include:

  • Dysphagia
  • Bowel fistulae
  • Intractable malabsorption
  • Total gastrectomy
  • Malnutrition-related to any diseases (both acute and chronic)
  • Pre-operative preparation of malnourished patients
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Since ONS often contain micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) and macronutrients (energy and/or protein) at differing levels of concentrations, not all of them are nutritionally complete, meaning that they can’t be used as an only nutrition source. A separate dietetic analysis will take into consideration the actual taste and nutritional requirements along with texture preferences to make sure that a customized prescription is recommended.

Foods for Special Medical Purposes

Foods for special medical purposes come under a specific category of foods that are intended for certain nutritional uses (PARNUT), also known as “dietetic foods.”

Foods for special medical purposes are carefully designed to feed particular patients who, due to a specific disorder, disease or medical condition, cannot meet their nutritional needs by consuming standard or regular foods. A food for special medical purposes differs considerably from normal foods because of its composition or manufacturing process.

In particular, foods for special medical purposes are designed for the dietary management of various diseases in patients who have impaired digestive function like absorption, which makes foods for special medical purposes the one of the most medically-oriented food types.

Compliance Criteria
To be legally marketed and sold as an foods for special medical purposes , the relevant food must satisfy a few criteria. Firstly, the food should be safe and strictly comply with the relevant regulatory requirements of dietetic foods with respect to its composition as well as its target group (patients with some type of nutritive deficiency).
Secondly, foods for special medical purposes must be used under strict medical supervision and should have labeling information regarding their intended use.

Intended Patients
People use oral nutritional supplements for a variety of reasons which include weight loss, weight gain and dysphagia. Patients who need oral range from those who have inherited metabolic diseases and food intolerance, to those who have chronic illnesses. In clinical settings foods for special medical purposes are recommended for people who have the following diseases:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cancer
  • Kidney failure
  • Diseases of the lung
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Neurological and psychiatric conditions

Oral nutritional supplements are very valuable as they support positive health outcomes and reduce costs to the NHS. They help provide:

  • Energy people need to stay active during the day
  • Nutrients people need for repair and growth, helping them stay healthy and strong and help prevent diet-related illnesses

Fortisip Compact (Regular)

Manufactured by Nutricia for highly developed medical nutrition, Fortisip Drinks come in a wide variety of flavors (12 in total), and each and every one of the flavor will prove to be a provide you with a high-energy and nutritionally complete supplement – ideal for managing malnutrition and diseases that are caused as a result of malnutrition, ranging from 100kcal per 100 milliliters to 244kcal per 100 milliliters.

FDC, which is short for Fortisip Drinks Compact, is a yummy milkshake-style supplement that contains the highest level of energy per ml (2.4kcal per milliliter) out of all the other Fortisip Drinks. Its flavors include Vanilla, Banana, Mocha, and Strawberry. The supplement contains more minerals and vitamins as compared to the Fortisip Drinks Bottle and hence would be perfect for more serious cases of weight loss. Fortisip Drinks Compact can be used to treat the following medical conditions:

  • Intractable malabsorption – An inability to absorb nutrients from food via the gut. Intractable refers to ‘not easily relieved or cured’.
  • Short Bowel Syndrome – Is a malabsorption disorder that stems from a lack of functional small intestine.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Is a blanket term used to describe disorders related to chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
  • Total Gastrectomy – Is the removal of the whole stomach done to fight obesity or treat stomach issues that are not helped by other treatments.
  • Malnutrition-related diseases – A body deprived of key nutrients becomes malnourished, common consequences if which include slower wound healing, risk of infection, and other diseases such as heart failure, kidney trouble, and even cancer.
  • Dysphagia – A medical term for the symptom of difficulty when swallowing.
  • Bowel fistulae – An abnormal opening in the digestive tract that results in the absorption of gastric fluids through your intestines or lining of the stomach.

FDC is a nutritionally complete formula containing key minerals and vitamins that help gradually enhance your overall immune system. And this is critical during times of weight loss and disease-related malnutrition, since a majority of key vitamin and minerals that would be generally acquired from different foods will no longer be obtained from your diet.

Fortisip supplements are not only available in the form of drinks, but also multi-fiber, savory multi-fiber, fruit dessert, juice, yogurt, as well as cream.

Instructions and Precautions for Use

These supplement drinks are for intravenous use, and not suitable for kids under 3 years of age as well as patients who have galactosaemia.

Fortisip Drinks Compact are best served when chilled. Before opening, shake well. You may also add it to other savory or sweet foods.

Storage Instructions

This product has a shelf life of 1 year. However, it should still be stored in a dry and cool place (5 to 25º C). Once opened, consume the product within 4 hours or keep it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. After that time period, discard unused contents.

Fortisip Compact Fibre

The Fortisip Compact Fiber is a high-energy, ready-to-drink, nutritionally complete, milkshake style supplement with added fibre designed to complement the diet of those individuals who are unable to meet their nutritional needs from regular foods. The product comes in 3 flavors – strawberry, mocha, and vanilla; plus the supplement is gluten-free and dense in energy – 2.4kcal per milliliters.

A 125ml bottle is packed with 300kcals and 12 grams of protein and can be used for managing health complications associated disease-related malnutrition. Though the supplement is loaded with nutritional goodness, it is still not suitable as an only dietetic source in children under the age of 6. Fluid intake should be closely monitored to ensure adequate hydration.

Fortisip Compact Fibre gives a boost of high energy by maintaining a high-calorie count. It makes an ideal supplement for people dealing with any of the following health concerns:

  • Intractable malabsorption – An inability to absorb nutrients via the gut. Intractable refers to ‘not easily relieved or cured’.
  • Short Bowel Syndrome – Is a malabsorption disorder that stems from a lack of functional small intestine.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Is a blanket term used to describe disorders related to chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
  • Total Gastrectomy – Is the removal of the whole stomach to fight obesity or treat stomach issues not traditionally treatable.
  • Malnutrition-related disease – A body deprived of key nutrients becomes malnourished, common consequences of which include slow wound healing, the risk of infection, and other diseases such as heart failure, kidney trouble, and even cancer.
  • Dysphagia – A medical term experiencing consistent difficulty when swallowing.
  • Bowel fistulae – An abnormal opening in the digestive tract that results in the absorption of gastric fluids through your intestines or stomach lining.

Caution! Fortisip Compact Fibre is not suitable for patients who have galactosemia, or those who are required to have a fibre-free diet. Make sure to consult with your doctor prior to using this supplement, especially if you are on medication.

One bottle of the milkshake contains 4.5 grams of fibre and 12 grams of protein, both of which are adequate quantities for patients who have nutritional deficiencies. Individuals who cannot consume regular foods due to certain medical conditions can easily meet their nutritional needs through the Fortisip Compact fibre.

Not only does the fibre content normalize bowel function and minimize inflammation, but also keeps an array of stomach/digestive issues at bay. The protein content helps increase energy levels and optimizes bodily functions in people faced with energy deficiency, thus improving their overall quality of life.

For post-op recovering patients, pain medications, changes to diet, stress, anesthetic agents, and less physical activity after surgery can work against their body’s regular route of elimination. In addition to drinking plenty of water, consuming fiber supplements every day will help get things moving along. Fortisip Compact Fiber can help soften the stool as well as add bulk to it. Plus, the drink helps restore regularity and balance to your bowel movements and overall digestive system.


Meaning galactose + blood in Greek, galactosemia is the accumulation of galactose in the blood, an unusual hereditary metabolic issue that impact’s a person’s capability to metabolize sugar galactose correctly. It follows an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance that confers a lack of an enzyme that is responsible for sufficient galactose degradation. In patients of galactosemia, the accumulation of galactose becomes the substrate for enzymes that catalyze the carbohydrate metabolism’s polyol pathway.

Fortisip Compact Protein

Fortisip Compact Protein is a high-energy, milkshake-style nutritional supplement drink designed for special medical purposes and to also manage diseases related to malnutrition.

It is enriched with protein (18g in 125ml) along with vitamins and minerals in a small volume of 125ml liquid formation, which helps ensure that the body receives its much-needed nutrients.

It is available in 3 delicious flavours: vanilla, mocha, and strawberry, and is quite user-friendly due to its simple design. Here are some interesting facts about one bottle of Fortisip Compact Protein, which is equivalent to:

  • 18 grams of protein (which is the same as the protein content of 3 eggs)
  • 300 calories (equivalent to the energy of 4 wholegrain bread slices)
  • 2.6 mg of iron (equal to the iron content of a 100g lamb)
  • 438mg calcium (equivalent to 2 glasses of milk)
  • 0.6mcg of Vitamin B12 (same level as is present in 50g of cheese)
  • 37.5mg of Vitamin C (equal to the level of vitamin C derived from one whole orange)

Administration and Precautions

Even though it is packed with protein and energy, the Fortisip Compact Protein is still not suitable as a sole source of nutrition and should be consumed in addition to your daily food intake.

Keep in mind that the product comprises of ingredients acquired from soybeans and milk, so people who are allergic to either of the two might not be able to use this product.

If you are lactose intolerant, you shouldn’t be concerned since the lactose content of Fortisip Compact Protein is pretty negligible and it can be compromised without causing any symptoms.

However, the product is not suitable for people with galactosemia, or for kids aged less than three years of age.

If you are currently on medication, you should be able to consume the product with a majority of prescriptions.

However, for any medication that has to be taken on an empty stomach, avoid taking them with Compact Protein.

If you are unsure or have concerns, do ask your prescribing doctor or pharmacist whether the supplement can be taken with your medication.

If you are someone who is suffering from malnutrition or any disease related to malnutrition, deficient in energy or protein, or currently on a fluid-restricted diet then you make a good candidate for the Fortisip Compact Protein.

Importance of Protein

Protein is a vital component of each and every cell in the body and is used to rejuvenate and build tissues. Your body also uses protein to make hormones, enzymes, and other crucial chemicals.

Protein also acts as an essential building block of muscles, bones, blood, skin, and cartilage.

In patients who are malnourished, or experiencing a malnutrition-related disease, protein and energy levels are significantly low, thereby preventing their bodies to perform at optimum levels.

The Fortisip Compact Fiber, featuring a whopping 18 grams of protein along with 300kcal energy per 125ml, can be quite effective in helping patients meet their daily nutrient needs and improve the quality of their life.