Immunonutrition: A Breakthrough in Treatment


A Breakthrough in Treatment

Dietitian & Nutritionist
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Since the beginning of nutrition support therapy it has undergone a certain modifications. Initially Nutritional based diet was recommended as a source of protein, energy and essential micronutrients to counterpoise muscle wasting and intercept the starvation induced immune depletion .Supplement diet with nutrients that have physiologic effects on immune function has been shown to be beneficial in patients with surgical and medical critical illness.

This communication discusses by which means immune nutrients can be used to modulate innate and acquired immunity associated with critical illness. As surgical stress, trauma, and critical illness swap the normal metabolic requisite and pathways, with transposition towards a catabolic state with a consequence of loss in weight, lean body mass, and fat; proteolysis; and expansion of the extracellular fluid compartment.

Nutritional support can improve patient’s Prognosis and lessen the complications rate by restricting oxidative cellular injury, attenuating metabolic responses, and enhancing immune function. Nutritional formulation, routes of delivery and number of delivered calories all modulate physiological and pathological responses and thus affect patient outcome. In this article, the current state of nutritional support in the perioperative state, role in patients going through malignancy has been discussed.

Immuno-nutrition is defined as “Modulation of the activities of the immune activation by nutrients or specific food items fed in amounts above these normally encountered in the diet. The potential to modulate the activity of the immune system by interventions with specific nutrients is termed as immunonutrition”.Immune-modulating nutrients added to enteral formulas to boost immunity through diet, are four immunonutrients which are:

They play a major role in maintaining the patient nutritional status by regulating normal body weight, leads to infiltration of T-lymphocytes and modulate the immune system, Triggers the immune function and leukocytes anti-oxidant defense capacity in malignancy and strengthen the adaptation towards systemic inflammation, enhance the Wound healing by increasing the formation of Collagen, checked by Hydroxyphiline production, an index of collagen formation. Henceimprove the prognosis with less complications especially in patients who have done their Radiochemotherapy and surgeries.

The value of immunonutrient formulas in the management of critically ill and postoperative patients is now acknowledged by many medical practitioners. But be aware that “one size does not fit all”. This indicate that immune nutrient profile that is more beneficial for the trauma or elective surgery patient may be of minimal benefit for the medical ICU patient and may be potentially harmful in case of sepsis. Making a wise decisions in choosing the optimal formula will lessen the adverse effects that currently serve to curtail the more widespread use of this valuable therapeutic modality.