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Immunonutrition with omega-3-fatty acids. Are new anti-inflammatory strategies in sight

Author

Heller A, Koch T

Date

2000

Journal

Zentralbl Chir

Abstract

In the early phase of sepsis and SIRS an overwhelming activation of humoral and cellular mediator systems can alter vascular resistance and causes capillary leakage increasing the risk of organ dysfunction. omega-6-arachidonic acid is released from lipid pools of cellular membranes during inflammation and is metabolized to pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotriens, which are key mediators in the pathogenesis of organ dysfunction. omega-3-eicosapentaenoic acid-derived lipid mediators present altered biologic effects. Thus, omega-3-fatty acid application enables anti-inflammatory intervention on the level of lipid mediators. The current article reviews experimental and clinical data on omega-3-fatty acids. Besides the decrease of pro-inflammatory mediators, fish oil supplementation lowered post operative infection rates and showed a tendency to reduce hospital stay in surgical patients. It is believed that the decreased formation of LTB4 and TXA2 during sepsis after administration of omega-3-fatty acids accounts for improved microcirculatory perfusion and declined lactate acidosis.

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