The Role of Inflammatory Biomarkers in the Assessment of Nutritional Status and Disease States

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Biomarkers of inflammation form an important, but often overlooked, part of nutritional assessment. Recently, it has become apparent that the pathophysiology of malnutrition associated with disease or acute injury is often accompanied by acute or chronic inflammation. These inflammatory biomarkers not only shape the physiological response to infection or injury but also have notable effects on body composition, serum proteins, and morbidity and mortality in certain disease states. Their monitoring and interpretation can provide important information to practitioners in the prescription of nutrition support and can help guide expectations with respect to nutritional outcomes. The role of inflammatory biomarkers is reviewed both in the pathogenesis of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, and in the clinical setting, including interpretation of serum proteins, the etiology of disease-related malnutrition, cancer cachexia, sarcopenia of aging, as well as outcome(s) in surgery.

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