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Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Nov;94(5):1248-65. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.007377. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

n-3 PUFAs in cancer, surgery, and critical care: a systematic review on clinical effects, incorporation, and washout of oral or enteral compared with parenteral supplementation.

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1
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

n-3 (omega-3) Fatty acids (FAs) may have beneficial effects in patients with cancer or in patients who undergo surgery or critical care.

OBJECTIVE:

Our aim was to systematically review the effects of oral or enteral and parenteral n-3 FA supplementation on clinical outcomes and to describe the incorporation of n-3 FAs into phospholipids of plasma, blood cells, and mucosal tissue and the subsequent washout in these patients.

DESIGN:

We investigated the supplementation of n-3 FAs in these patients by using a systematic literature review.

RESULTS:

In cancer, the oral or enteral supplementation of n-3 FAs contributed to the maintenance of body weight and quality of life but not to survival. We did not find any studies on parenteral supplementation of n-3 FAs in cancer. In surgical oncology, we did not find any studies on enteral supplementation of n-3 FAs. However, postoperative parenteral supplementation in surgical oncology may reduce the length of a hospital stay. For general surgery, we did not find any studies on enteral supplementation of n-3 FAs, and evidence on parenteral supplementation was insufficient. In critical care, enteral supplementation of n-3 FAs had beneficial effects on clinical outcomes; evidence on parenteral supplementation in critical care was inconsistent. The incorporation of n-3 FAs in plasma and blood cells was slower with enteral supplementation (4-7 d) than with parenteral supplementation (1-3 d). The washout was 5-7 d.

CONCLUSIONS:

This review shows the beneficial effects of n-3 FA supplementation in cancer, surgical oncology, and critical care patients. Supplementation in these specific patient populations could be considered with the route of administration taken into account.

PMID:
21940600
DOI:
10.3945/ajcn.110.007377
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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