The effects of different types of dietary lipids were tested in burned guinea pigs. All diets were identical except for the type of lipid, with total energy intake from lipids equaling 10%. All animals received a 30% total body surface area (TBSA) flame burn and were fed identically by pump-controlled gastrostomy feedings for 14 days.

When compared to safflower oil (74% linoleic acid) as well as linoleic acid alone, fish oil (18% eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA) administration resulted in less weight loss, better skeletal muscle mass, lower resting metabolic expenditure, better cell mediated immune responses, better opsonic indices, higher splenic weight, lower adrenal weight, higher serum transferrin, and lower serum C3 levels.

With the exception of better cell mediated immune responses in the animals fed linoleic acid, the administration of indomethacin made little difference. These findings can be explained by a reduction in the synthesis of the dienoic prostaglandins that are derived from the omega 6 series of fatty acids, some of which are significantly immunosuppressive.

Regulation of dietary lipids may be an important therapeutic advance in nutritional support after burn injury, and controlled trials should be considered.

PMID: 3015058

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