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I am wondering, out of pure curiosity, whether with current medical & biological science, (or indeed with accepted probable future developments in those areas), in theory, would it be possible to create an injection of vitamins, minerals, sugars etc so that eating was no longer necessary, and in fact, an average life with average energy usage could be continued?

I am not a biological professional nor academic, so apologies if this is on the wrong Stack Exchange site, however I thought this was closest to the mark. If there is somewhere more appropriate please direct me, and I shall delete the question and post it there.

Also, if no, would there be certain parts that you couldn't replicate in an injection or something of the like?

NB: This doesn't have to be an injection, any simple method of ingesting or attaining everything the body needs. This could be a pill, or anything. I simply used an injection as an example.

Thank-you very much.

Edit: Having found this question, Has there ever been an attempt to create nutritionally tailored food for adult human consumption? I would like clarify. This has given me a lot of information, however, I am looking for any method APART from food. Thanks.

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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The quantity of nutrients the body requires takes much more physical space than can be included in a simple pill or injection (used only a few times a day). But nutrition can be provided by IV (intravenous administration), and it is used today for some medical conditions. When the IV completely substitutes for normal digestion, it is called total parenteral nutrition (or TPN). The procedure is simple and reliable enough that it can sometimes be used outside of a hospital setting and be self-administered by users at home.

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I'd like to point out that TPN isn't considered simple in hospitals and requires a huge amount of extra patient monitoring and observation in addition to causing a number of additional complications - meaning that its usage is always a last resort. –  Rory M Jul 30 '13 at 12:16
    
@mgkrebbs Brilliant. Thanks, very useful. The highlighting of specific terms for future research was the largest benefit of this answer. Thanks again. –  MasNotsram Aug 1 '13 at 10:03
    
@RoryM Thanks for the clarification Rory. –  MasNotsram Aug 1 '13 at 10:04
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