1. What is Liquid Hope?
Liquid Hope is the worlds’ first and only organic, whole food, and plant-based feeding tube formula and oral meal replacement. Unlike other enteral formulas on the market, Liquid Hope is made with no added sugars and no artificial ingredients – just the wholesomeness of 16 whole food ingredients like garbanzo beans, quinoa, kale, and broccoli and a vitamin blend to make it nutritionally complete. It is gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, and dairy-free.
2. What led to the development of Liquid Hope?
Robin Gentry McGee, the founder and CEO of Functional Formularies, created Liquid Hope shortly after her father suffered a traumatic brain injury, could no longer eat by mouth, and was being fed formula through a feeding tube. After turning around the can of the formula that was being poured down his tube, Robin realized that the ingredients (like corn syrup solids, soy protein isolate, and sodium caseinate) were far from what he would be eating if she were preparing foods for him in her home. Robin took to the Internet to find a healthier alternative, but after her search fell short she enlisted the help of several integrative practitioners across the country to develop what is now known as Liquid Hope.
3. This is an organic GMO free formula- why is this important?
Liquid Hope is the only certified organic, no added sugar, and GMO-free enteral formula on the market. Organic foods are beneficial for a variety of reasons including a decreased exposure to pesticides in the diet, soil biodiversity, and water conservation. At the same time, there are no long-term third-party human safety studies on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and since all organic foods are non-GMO it’s important to look for the certified organic label. Also, contrary to popular belief, you cannot cook the pesticides or GMOs out of foods. Choosing organic and GMO-free foods is important for everybody, and we feel especially for those who may already have compromised health lending to the placement of a feeding tube.
4. Is the pediatric version of Liquid Hope available? What ages do you recommend the pediatric version for?
Nourish, the newest formula from Functional Formularies, is slated to launch within the next 90 days. Nourish will feature whole food, organic ingredients similar to Liquid Hope but will be free of almond butter (so its ingredients will be void of the top 8 food allergens) and free of rosemary and garlic (so it will have a sweeter taste). In terms of nutrition content, there will be 400 calories, 17 g fat, 47 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, and 14 g protein per 12-ounce pouch (355 mL). Nourish was designed with the nutritional needs for children in mind. It is up to each individual’s medical team to determine the recommendations for Nourish.
5. So many of our patients with feeding tubes have underlying GI issues such as gastroesophageal reflux, constipation, slow motility, and food intolerance. Do you feel Liquid Hope is tolerated well for children with these issues?
Anecdotally, yes. We receive calls and posts to our Facebook page everyday of individuals who have seen changes to their health when using the formula. This is supported by the well-known clinical efficacy of the ingredients and nutritional properties in the formula, like the impact of fermentable fibers in supporting a healthy gut microbiome versus the implications of fructose and polyunsaturated fatty acids (found widely in other formulas) in endotoxemia promotion. Additionally, there is research (out of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital) that demonstrates that the administration of blenderized feeds via gastrostomy tube decreases gagging and retching in children. We feature all research related to Liquid Hope on our website at http://functionalformularies.com/medical/research .
In our first clinical trial in a burn unit at Baton Rouge General Medical Center, researchers found in a case study that the patient’s stool was “more formed when on organic whole foods enteral feed compared to the conventional enteral feed.” As more research is released about Liquid Hope, we will be sure to post it on our website.
6. Can Liquid Hope be taken orally? If not, do you have plans for an oral supplement?
Yes, Liquid Hope can be eaten orally. What a lot of our customers (and office staff) like to do is heat it on the stove and enjoy it as a soup. The liquid can also be mixed with mango, pineapple, and coconut water to create a smoothie. The flavor of Liquid Hope is savory, yet sweet, so it can be used as a very versatile ingredient in the kitchen as the base of a soup or as the liquid to cook grains like quinoa or rice.
7. Can you use Liquid Hope for continuous feeds? Or through a J tube?
Liquid Hope has been used by many customers who are on continuous feeds. Please note that the hang time for Liquid Hope is 4 hours. Liquid Hope has also been used through J-tubes. Please check with your medical team before beginning the use of any new nutrition product.
8. Does insurance or US Medicaid typically cover Liquid Hope?
Yes, with billing code B4149, Liquid Hope is covered by many insurances including Medicare and Medicaid. The company offers free insurance advocacy for customers to help them with obtaining coverage for the formula, and they have about a 95% success rate.
9. Where do you get Liquid Hope?
Liquid Hope can be ordered directly through the company online at www.shop.functionalformularies.com or by calling (937)433-4673. Liquid Hope may also be covered through insurance and available through a local distributor; if interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, hospital facilities across the country are offering Liquid Hope for inpatient use.
* I want to thank Liquid hope for answering my questions. As a speech pathologist specializing in feeding, I am always interested in the tube feeding formulas used with our patients in terms of tolerance and overall health benefits. We use Liquid Hope with our patients and have found it to be well tolerated. Some of our patients use it in conjunction with a home made blenderized diet. At the moment, our dietitians have been adjusting the adult formula to work for our pediatric patients. We are excited about the Nourish, the new pediatric blend coming out soon. If you are interested, I would encourage you to visit http://functionalformularies.com/. There is an interesting webinar available as well as a blog and other information.