In a letter in the Journal of Intensive Care Society (2016), several doctors posted a letter calling attention to the lack of adequate enteral feeding preparations (or tube feeding) suitable for critically ill vegan patients. Enteral feeding is a method of supplying nutrients directly into the gastrointestinal tract. It is the delivery of a nutritionally complete feed, containing protein, carbohydrate, fat, water, minerals and vitamins, directly into the stomach, duodenum or jejunum. Parenteral nutrition is intravenous administration of nutrition, which may include protein, carbohydrate, fat, minerals and electrolytes, vitamins and other trace elements for patients who cannot eat or absorb enough food through tube feeding formula or by mouth to maintain good nutrition status.
In the letter they state that “although there are commercially available enteral feeds that are suitable for those who require a halal or kosher diet, there are none available that are suitable for vegans. There is also no commercially available parenteral nutrition that can be used as a substitute either.”
The doctors conclude: “We feel that enteral feeding for this population is an area of concern. There is currently inadequate provision and unmet need.”
I have found these products that may be of interest to vegans or people on a plantbased diet. If you have any other suggestions or feedback, please comment, so I can possibly add them to this list.
Homemade tube feed (blended) is another possibility, which might be explored in a future post.
Kates Farm, plant-based and organic ingredients without the most common allergens or additives.
Real Foods, Quinoa, Kale & Hemp. Listed as vegetarian, is likely vegan. Ingredients are: grape juice, water, kale, hemp powder, extra virgin olive oil, quinoa & cinnamon. No additives or preservatives.
Liquid Hope Organic whole foods feed formula. Is often mentioned when looking for vegan tube feed. But note: the vitamin D3 in Liquid Hope is sourced from lanolin (sheep’s wool). All other ingredients are vegan (info via mail, 2019/06).
Webb M., King D. & Sturt K., An unmet need: Feeding for critically ill vegans, Journal of Intensive Care Society, 2016 Feb; 17(1): 90.
Which formulas for tube feeding are vegan, Vegan Kitchen Magick.
Edit (2019/06/12). See also: Lack of Access. Vegan Supplemental Nutrition, Disabled Vegan.