It is the symptom of a disease that is the direct consequence of an alteration to one or more metabolic reactions in the organism. Metabolic diseases can be the result of: 4) genetic causes (the so-called congenital errors of metabolism, which are generally hereditary and family-based) such as phenylketonuria, also known as PKU 5) genetic causes and the presence of predisposing environmental factors, such as idiopathic diabetes mellitus and the most common forms of gout. 6) environmental causes that lead to the manifestation of acquired diseases, i.e. not determined by genetic factors. These may include diseases caused by eating disorders such as different forms of obesity and thinness, alterations in mineral and water metabolism (dehydration and overhydration syndromes) and in acid-base balance (alkalosis, acidosis) and vitamin deficiency diseases.

DFSMPs are dietary products: 3) that are specially processed or formulated and need to be used “under medical supervision” 4) intended for the exclusive or partial feeding of patients who have a limited, impaired or disturbed capacity for assuming, digesting, absorbing, metabolising or excreting ordinary foods or certain nutrients or metabolites contained in them, or who have certain other medical requirements for nutrients; intended for the exclusive or partial feeding of patients whose dietary treatment cannot be achieved either through a modification of their normal diet, or by using other dietary products, or by combining ordinary foods with other dietary products. In other words, DFSMPs are designed for dietary treatments that cannot be achieved through the appropriately combined use of already available foods, including dietary supplements.

Dietary fibre consists of the edible parts of plants, which cannot be digested in the small intestine and pass intact into the large intestine. They include non-starch polysaccharides (such as cellulose, hemi-cellulose, gums, pectins), oligo-saccharides (e.g. inulin), lignin and other associated plant substances (e.g. waxes). The term dietary fibre also includes a type of starch known as “resistant starch” because it is not digested in the small intestine and reaches the large intestine unchanged.

Amino acid disorders are diseases of amino acid metabolism inherited by the child from both parents. Proteins are assumed with the diet and subsequently into digestion, i.e. they are separated into the various amino acids which are further processed into compounds (peptides) which are necessary for the growth and maintenance of tissue function. When this processing fails, due to a genetic abnormality, there is an accumulation of an amino acid in the blood and tissues, which then becomes toxic

Phenylketonuria, or PKU, the Tyrosinemia and Leucinosis

Coeliac disease is a permanent intolerance to gluten, a protein found in oats, wheat, farro, Khorasan wheat (usually marketed as Kamut®), barley, rye, spelt and triticale. A strict, gluten-free diet is currently the only therapy that guarantees coeliacs a perfect state of health.

Gluten is a protein complex found in some cereals (wheat, rye, barley, oats, farro, spelt, kamut, triticale). Prolamin is one of the protein fractions that gluten is composed of and it is responsible for the toxic effect suffered by coeliacs. The prolamin found in wheat is called gliadin, while similar proteins, with the same effect on coeliacs, are also found in barley, rye, farro, spelt, kamut, triticale and oats.

Proteins are macromolecules found in all living things and make up cells and tissues. They are important for the proper performance of vital functions.

They are the constituent parts of proteins. In nature there are 20 different types. The composition of a protein depends on the number and type of amino acids from which it is formed.

Proteins are found in varying concentrations in all foods of plant and animal origin.

Protein-free foods have a protein content of less than or equal to 1%, while low-protein foods have a content greater than 1%, but less than 2%.

Chronic kidney disease is a syndrome characterised by a progressive reduction in renal function.

CKD is generally caused by a multiplicity of disorders that all combine to compromise the functionality of the nephrons (the functional units of kidneys). The most frequent causes of CKD are diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Other less common causes are inflammation of the glomeruli (glomerular nephritis) or the appearance of multiple cysts (polycystic kidney disease). Some risk factors can contribute to the development of kidney disease such as ageing, obesity and recurrent urinary tract infections.

The treatment of CKD may be conservative or involve replacement. The purpose of conservative treatment is to preserve renal function for as long as possible, through medical nutritional therapy that involves the use of drugs and a low-protein and low-salt diet together with a correct lifestyle.