Burn patients develop pathophysiological alterations, which include extensive nitrogen loss, malnutrition, markedly increased metabolic rate and immunologic deficiency. This predisposes burn patients to frequent infections, poor wound healing, increased length of hospitalization and increased mortality. The nutritional support requires high protein and high energy diets preferably administered enterally soon after injury.

The effects of increased dietary components such as glutamine, arginine and (n-3) fatty acids and related compounds have been evaluated in burn victims. These components, when supplied in quantities two to seven times of those in normal diets of healthy persons, appear to have beneficial pharmacological effects on the pathophysiological alterations associated with burns. However, the efficacy of immune-enhancing diets remains to be convincingly shown.

PMID: 9566984

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