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Dietary supplements for patients after lung injury do not appear to improve outcomes; may be harmful
Date:10/5/2011

CHICAGO In contrast to findings of previous studies, patients who experienced an acute lung injury, such as from pneumonia or sepsis, and received dietary supplements including omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants had more days on a ventilator, more days in the intensive care unit (ICU), and a non-statistically significant increase in the rate of death, according to a study appearing in JAMA. The study is being published early online to coincide with its presentation at the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine meeting in Berlin.

"Patients at risk of developing acute lung injury (ALI) have omega-3 (n-3) levels approximately 25 percent of normal and those with established ALI have n-3 levels as low as 6 percent of normal, suggesting a potential role for n-3 dietary supplementation in patients with ALI," according to background information in the article. Preclinical data indicate that the n-6 γ-linolenic acid (GLA; a fatty acid), in conjunction with the n-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), may also be beneficial in ALI. Three randomized controlled studies, conducted in patients with ALI or sepsis-induced respiratory failure, demonstrated an association between the administration of an enteral (oral) formula enriched in n-3 fatty acids, GLA, and antioxidants and improved outcomes on some measures. These supplements may modulate systemic inflammatory response and improve oxygenation and outcomes in patients with ALI. However, interpretation of these results is limited by the small sample sizes and as-treated analyses of only those patients who tolerated full enteral nutrition.

Todd W. Rice, M.D., M.Sc., of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues conducted a study to examine the effects of supplementation of n-3 fatty acids, GLA, and antioxidants on clinical outcomes in patients with ALI in a phase 3 trial. The researchers hypothesized that a twice-daily bolus (a large dosage) admin
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Contact: Craig Boerner
craig.boerner@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-4747
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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