Nutrition based programs are being devised to increase recovery of patients after surgery. Products being used include omega-3 fatty acids, arginine, glutamine and medium chain triglycerides (MCT).
More emphasis is being placed on boosting immunity and less emphasis is being placed on replacing energy. High doses of some nutritional component are “immune-modulatory, anti-inflammatory, anabolic, and tissue protective..” The two most reliable improvements were seen with the use of arginine, glutamine, and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce infections from surgery.
Rapid recovery of bowel function is important following surgery. MCT oil is usually derived from coconut oil and has shown some benefit in helping patients regain normal bowel function more rapidly.
Recovery depends on adequate replacement of sugars for energy. There tends to be some degree of malnutrition commonly around the time of surgery.
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NOTE: Read more about the use of arginine in health and disease.
Gianotti, L., et al. Revising Concepts of Artificial Nutrition in Contemporary Surgery: From Energy and Nitrogen to Immuno-Metabolic Support. Nutr Hosp. 2011 Jan-Feb;26(1):56-67. Milano-Ricocca University, Monza, Italy.
KEY WORDS: Anti-inflammatory, Arginine, Glutamine, Immunity, Infection, Medium chain triglycerides, Metabolic, Nutrition, Operation, Supplement, Surgery, Metabolic, Omega-3 fatty acids.