Parenteral Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Omegaven) and Intestinal Recovery

  • Sukhotnik Igor
Living reference work entry


Growing evidence from several clinical and experimental studies indicates that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) can reduce not only the activity of inflammatory processes but may also improve the immune system and protect the organism against the negative effect of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome. The positive anti-inflammatory effect of n-3 PUFAs has been described in several inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis. In this report, we discuss the use of a fish oil-based lipid emulsion in the treatment of different gastrointestinal disorders including intestinal ischemia-reperfusion, short bowel syndrome, chemotherapy-induced mucositis, microvillous inclusion disease, etc. The mechanisms of action of n-3 PUFAs on intestinal cell turnover (proliferation and apoptosis) as well as the effects of this agent on intestinal regrowth after bowel resection and intestinal recovery following intestinal ischemia or chemotherapy-induced damage in rodent models are discussed. Such knowledge may allow us to exploit omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that act as gut-trophic agent for the bowel mucosa and suggests new therapeutic strategies to maintain gut integrity after massive bowel resection or intestinal injury, eliminating the dependence on total parenteral nutrition.


Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Short Bowel Syndrome Aberrant Crypt Focus Intestinal Adaptation Mucosal Hyperplasia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations


Docosahexaenoic acid


Eicosapentaenoic acid




Multiple-organ failure



n-3 PUFAs

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids


Short bowel syndrome


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Surgery and Pathology, The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of MedicineTechnion-Israel Institute of Technology, Bnai Zion Medical CenterHaifaIsrael

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