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Can I drink juices and/or broth while on EN?

Everyone has been really helpful so far, so here's hoping for some more answers and/or advice....

While on EN (for example, Ensure/Boost) can I still drink juices? I'm referring to freshly squeezed fruit and/or vegetable juices.

Also wondering about broths such as miso soup, clear vegetable broth etc...?

I wouldn't be substituting the juices/broth for a meal - I would still expect to get all my daily calories from the shakes, but I figure that maybe the extra vitamins and antioxidants from fruit/veg juices couldn't hurt...?

I'm quite disciplined when I put my mind to it so if only the shakes are advised, that's what I'll do - but if I'm able to expand my repertoire of 'liquids' I'd like that more (obviously, lol).

Thank you :)
I'm not 100% sure on this, so don't quote me, but I believe Ensure/Boost are not designed to be used for something like EN. You won't be getting enough of what you need.

You definitely want to talk to a dietitian and your GI and find a better product, one you'd have to order or have prescribed.

Obviously, if you want to incorporate Ensure/Boost into your diet and eat less - I'm sure that's okay.

Either way, make sure you get all the information you can from your doctors/nutritionist before you make any drastic changes!

Good luck :)


Naples, Florida
Are you on EN yourself or is it something your doctor put you on? If your doctor or a dietician put you on it, I'd ask them what they want you to do.

If it was me and I was doing it myself, I'd wait for remission and then slowly incorporate one at a time and see how I felt for say 5 days after that new addition. Basically incorporate them into an elimination diet. I will say the miso concerns me. Most these days are full of all kinds of junk.
It partly depends on the reason for the EN. If you're on it as a supplement (i.e. because you're underweight or malnourished), then I imagine it'd be ok to have EN plus other foods. If you're on EN because of a flare, then I'd have to agree with David, it's probably best to start with EN until remission is induced and then start introducing basic foods one at a time over a few days to see if they cause a return of symptoms. Different dietitians take different approaches and some allow broth, clear mints etc whilst others don't.

Just as a side note, you shouldn't need extra vitamins if you're on EN as it is designed to give you everything you need. Like Ravensfan said, make sure you're taking something designed as a sole source of nutrition, the sort anyone can buy in the shops often aren't for this purpose (as far as I'm aware!).
Hi SarahD and David,
Thanks for your replies. I guess I should clarify: I am currently doing 'half-EN' which means that half my calories per day come from Ensure, and the other half from 'gentle foods' like ripe banana, plain chicken, cooked veggies. I'm also drinking one fresh juice a day (mostly carrot with a bit of apple and other vegetables).

This is not from my doctor (haven't heard back from him or seen him in the last few weeks) but because I'm trying to give my gut a rest and help heal a fistula.

I'm a bit confused about the concept of 'flaring' because i currently have minimal symptoms tummy-wise. My current 'flare' is that my fistula started to act up (could feel it beginning to swell) so I had to re-start antibiotics (cipro + flagyl). I was just hoping that by increasing liquids and decreasing solid food I could help the fistula heal...

And David, re: miso - it's a paste from the healthfood store that contains only soybeans (it's the light-coloured kind).



Naples, Florida
Thanks for the clarification :) I've read of enteral nutrition helping fistulae heal. I think what you're doing is certainly worth a try :)

The ONLY ingredient in your miso paste is soybeans? The white miso paste I have sitting in my fridge has six ingredients (I just checked) and I had to do quite a bit of searching to find one that had ingredients that didn't concern me much.
You're right, it's not 'only soybeans'. It's: organic white rice, organic whole soy beans, sea salt, filtered water, culture (Aspergillus oryzae).

Along this note (since miso is a probiotic), I wonder whether you have any advice about taking probiotics while taking antibiotics. I found this evidence summary supporting the use of probiotics and antibiotics concurrently:
(and an updated study here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508163328.htm)

Specifically though, I wonder about the timing of administration of each... How much time apart should they be taken - two hours, four hours? Anyone know?


Naples, Florida
Sounds like pretty good ingredients overall :) Not SCD or paleo friendly if you believe in those, but you found a good miso, good job :)

I don't know enough about probiotics yet to comment, sorry. Hopefully someone else can.
Two answers: If you're looking for a 100% EN diet, then broths and homogeneous liquids tend to be okay. I've been on this sort of diet once before for 6 weeks and I was able to eat broth, juice and jello on a regular basis (to keep me "full"). So long as there's nothing solid your body needs to digest (pulp included, no pulp), it's fine. If you're unsure, clear or transparent liquids are pretty well always a-ok.

As for a hybrid EN diet, it's really up to you to decide what you want. The less solids you digest the better, so pulpy juice is worse than non-pulpy juice.