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Nutrition. 2006 Sep;22(9):952-5.

Vitamins and trace elements: practical aspects of supplementation.

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Department of Intensive Care Medicine & Burns Center, University Hospital (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland.


The role of micronutrients in parenteral nutrition include the following: (1) Whenever artificial nutrition is indicated, micronutrients, i.e., vitamins and trace elements, should be given from the first day of artificial nutritional support. (2) Testing blood levels of vitamins and trace elements in acutely ill patients is of very limited value. By using sensible clinical judgment, it is possible to manage patients with only a small amount of laboratory testing. (3) Patients with major burns or major trauma and those with acute renal failure who are on continuous renal replacement therapy or dialysis quickly develop acute deficits in some micronutrients, and immediate supplementation is essential. (4) Other groups at risk are cancer patients, but also pregnant women with hyperemesis and people with anorexia nervosa or other malnutrition or malabsorption states. (5) Clinicians need to treat severe deficits before they become clinical deficiencies. If a patient develops a micronutrient deficiency state while in care, then there has been a severe failure of care. (6) In the early acute phase of recovery from critical illness, where artificial nutrition is generally not indicated, there may still be a need to deliver micronutrients to specific categories of very sick patients. (7) Ideally, trace element preparations should provide a low-manganese product for all and a manganese-free product for certain patients with liver disease. (8) High losses through excretion should be minimized by infusing micronutrients slowly, over as long a period as possible. To avoid interactions, it would be ideal to infuse trace elements and vitamins separately: the trace elements over an initial 12-h period and the vitamins over the next 12-h period. (9) Multivitamin and trace element preparations suitable for most patients requiring parenteral nutrition are widely available, but individual patients may require additional supplements or smaller amounts of certain micronutrients, depending on their clinical condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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