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What Is a Resource Supplement?

By Michele Turcotte, MS, RD

Resource products are a line of protein and calorie-rich nutritional supplements manufactured by Nestle. Hospitals, long-term care centers, bariatric clinics and other medical settings are the primary market for these supplements. They are not available in supermarkets or pharmacies but you can purchase them via Nestle's website or from a Nestle sales representative. Resource supplements include juices, milkshakes, broths and other products.


Resource supplements are designed to meet the needs of those unable to take in enough calories or protein to maintain their weight and/or for optimal health. This includes individuals suffering from chronic illness or dysphagia, which is difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, according to GI Care. Resource supplements provide a maximum amount of nutrients in a minimum volume, which is beneficial for those who have had bariatric surgery and can only consume very small amounts of food and beverage. High-protein supplements, fortified with vitamins and minerals, are beneficial for preventing nutrient deficiencies.


There are many Resource nutritional products to supplement the diet of those with different medical conditions. Types of supplements include: Nutritious juice, thickened or regular; Broth Plus mix, Benefiber and Beneprotein, or powdered fiber and protein; Health Shakes, regular and no sugar added; Nutritious Pudding; and a variety of pureed and thickened products, such as thickened coffee and water. Some Resource products are particularly specialized, such as the Resource Arginaid drink. This protein- and calorie-rich beverage is fortified with the amino acid L-arginine, zinc and vitamins C and E to help promote wound healing.

Health Shake

The Resource Health Shake is a supplement comparable to other ready-to-drink beverages, such as Ensure. However, the Health Shake contains milk and must be kept cold. The protein in this drink comes from high quality whey protein concentrate and soy protein isolate. One serving, or 4 fluid oz., provides 200 calories, 6 g of protein, 4 g of fat, 0.5 g of saturated fat, 35 g of carbohydrates and 125 mg of sodium. This product also comes with no sugar added. As a fortified beverage, these gluten-free, kosher shakes are excellent sources of calcium, vitamins A, C, D, the B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.


Nutritional supplements, such as Nestle's Resource line, are beneficial for promoting optimal nutrition for certain individuals who may otherwise suffer from malnutrition. According to several research articles, including one published in the "Proceedings of the Nutrition Society" in August 2010, there is consistent evidence to suggest that ready-made, nutrient-fortified liquid oral supplements can improve nutritional intake, body weight and offer functional benefits for specific patient groups. In addition, these supplements tend to reduce medical complications and hospital admissions, particularly in the elderly.


If properly and responsibly used, oral nutritional supplements, such as Nestle's Resource products, can improve nutritional status, reduce mortality and complications for undernourished hospitalized patients. However, they are not without risks. Some oral supplements can cause gastrointestinal disturbances, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, according to a research study conducted in Scotland and published in the "Annals of Internal Medicine" in January 2006. Well-nourished individuals do not require oral nutritional supplements. Whole foods should always be the first choice for optimum nutrition, regardless of the setting.

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