Patients being treated in intensive care units may benefit from taking fish oils intravenously, according to a new study just published in the journal Critical Care. In fact, it appears to shorten their hospital stays!
The study investigated the effects of including fish oil in the normal IV nutrient solution for patients with sepsis, a potentially-lethal blood infection. They found a significant series of benefits:
The researchers compared 13 patients who received fish oil in their nutrient solution with 10 patients who received traditional solutions. The patients who were given the nutrient solution containing fish oil had lower levels of inflammatory agents in their blood, were able to achieve better lung function and left the hospital earlier than the 10 patients who received traditional IV nutrition.
Lead researcher Philip Calder, of the University of Southampton in England, notes: “Traditional solutions use soybean oil, which does not contain the omega-3 fatty acids contained in a fish oil that act to reduce inflammatory responses. In fact, soybean oil is rich in omega-6 acids that may actually promote inflammation in an excessive or unbalanced supply.”
This is the first study that supplements the traditional IV nutrient solution given to ICU patients with omega 3 fish oil. These results are very important and will surely be studied on a larger scale. Anyone that’s spent time in the hospital will know firsthand that getting better and getting home is THE top priority especially with all the bugs you seem to be able to catch in hospitals these days!