Advances in Intravenous Lipid Emulsions
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Over the past decade, our views have considerably evolved with respect to the metabolism of intravenous lipid emulsions and their composition. Substantial progress has been made in understanding the metabolic pathways of emulsion particles and the delivery of their various components (fatty acids and vitamins) to specific tissues or cells. Although soybean long-chain triglycerides represent a valuable source of energy, concerns have been raised about their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (mainly n-6 essential fatty acids), which may adversely affect immune functions and antioxidant status. Introduction of medium-chain triglycerides or olive oil to lipid emulsions can largely help bypass these disadvantages. Recently, incorporation of n-3 fatty acids in lipid preparations was suggested to have potential application in several chronic and acute diseases because of their ability to reduce inflammatory and thrombotic responses and cell sensitivity to various stimuli. Hence lipid emulsions should no longer be considered only as a means of providing energy substrates; they also modulate key metabolic functions. Such improved knowledge may lead to optimizing the metabolic care of certain patients.
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