Fish oil is better than soya oil for intensive care patients on intravenous feeds

Intravenous feeds for intensive care patients have traditionally been made up with soya bean oil which is rich in omega 6 fatty acids which are pro-inflammatory and therefore unhelpful for patients who are already suffering from systemic inflammatory responses or sepsis.

Philip Calder, from the University of Southampton, UK, and a team of researchers studied 23 patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome or sepsis in the Hospital Padre Américo in Portugal, 13 of whom received their nutrition with fish oil and 10 with the traditional soya oil.

They found that the 13 patients in the fish oil group had lower levels of inflammatory agents in their blood, were able to achieve better lung function and left hospital earlier than the 10 patients who received traditional nutrition.


Vera M Barbosa, Elizabeth A Miles, Conceicao Calhau, Estevao Lafuente and Philip C Calder. Effects of a fish oil containing lipid emulsion on plasma phospholipid fatty acids, inflammatory markers, and clinical outcomes in septic patients: a randomized, controlled clinical trial. Critical Care, 2010; (in press)

Courtesy of Science Daily


First Published in January 2010


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