Nutritional Supplement Boosts Immune Function In Surgery Patients
(Integrative Medicine) - A new study published in the journal Lancet suggests that people who are at high risk of infection after heart surgery may benefit from taking a nutritional supplement containing L-arginine and omega-3 fatty acids.
Certain individuals, such as the elderly, have an increased risk of developing infections after surgery. Researchers from the Netherlands investigated whether a nutritional mixture containing L-arginine, omega-3 fatty acids, and yeast RNA could lower this risk.
Fifty high-risk patients scheduled to undergo heart surgery were randomized to receive either a nutritional supplement or placebo for 5 to 10 days prior to surgery. Patients who received the supplement demonstrated improved immune function, reduced number of postoperative infections, and better preserved kidney function compared to controls.
"These beneficial effects support use of an oral immune-enhancing nutritional supplement in patients who are undergoing cardiac surgery and are at high risk of infection," Tepaske et al conclude.
Tepaske R, Velthuis HT, Oudemans-van Straaten HM, et al.
Effect of preoperative oral immune-enhancing nutritional supplement on patients at high risk of infection after cardiac surgery: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2001;358:696-701.
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