Ensure® is the brand name of a line of nutritional supplements. These products are available in the form of ready made drinks as well as powder and pudding. They are designed to provide "complete, balanced nutrition" for those who are who need assistance with maintaining good nutrition for health reasons. Ensure® contains a variety of vitamins and essential nutrients. It is frequently used by those who need additional nutrition above what is provided by their diet such as the those persons with chronic illnesses. Ensure® is also marketed as a way for healthy adults to maintain their well being.
Ensure products are manufactured by a company called Abbott Nutrition headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The products are most commonly available as as liquid nutritional supplements but pudding and powder variants are also manufactured. The liquid is made in a regular version or in a variety of specialized versions designed to focus on strengthening potential problem areas. Specific versions target muscle health, immune system functioning, and bone health, as well as a version called Ensure® Plus that contains extra calories and nutrients.
As a nutritional supplement, Ensure® is designed primarily to supplement a person's diet when included with meals. When used in this way, Ensure is supposed to provide essential nutrition that may be lacking in a person's regular diet. It can also be used as a sole source of nutrition on a short term basis, such as if a patient is recovering from surgery and unable to eat solid food. For some people, it can serve as an occasional meal replacement.
There are a variety of vitamins and essential nutrients in Ensure®. The vitamins and minerals present in this product include the following: B vitamins; calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine; and vitamin A, C, D, and K; thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and biotin. It is also a source of carbohydrates for energy, contains high levels of protein, and is relatively low in fat.
It is thought that using a product such as Ensure® to supplement the nutrition of people with certain medical conditions can assist in their treatment and recovery. It is often recommended in cases of unintended weight loss, compromised immune systems, poor nutritional habits, and recovery from illness or surgery. It also may be beneficial in patients with chronic illnesses including cancer, kidney disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is based on the theory that better nutrition will help provide the body with the fuel it needs to fight illness.