Nutritional armor for the injured warfighter: omega-3 fatty acids in surgery, trauma, and intensive care

Mary S. McCarthy, Brian B. Morgan, John T. Heineman, Robert Martindale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nutrients have traditionally been viewed as a means to provide basic energy for cellular homeostasis and amino acids for protein synthesis in all humans. Young, healthy men and women in the military today are presumed to be well nourished and mentally and physically fit to perform their duties in austere environments. Exposure to high-intensity projectiles, blast injuries, and other wounds of war, however, is an everyday occurrence during deployment that potentially challenges all homeostatic mechanisms. After sustaining such devastating injuries, critically ill, surgical, and trauma patients are in a constant dynamic state between the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (and compensatory anti-inflammatory response syndrome. Compelling evidence supports both immune and metabolic response modulation by specific nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, primarily eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The concept of providing nutrients as therapeutic rather than supportive agents to meet the basic cellular caloric and metabolic demands requires a major paradigm shift. Although the exact route and dose of these metabolically active lipids has yet to be determined, data from large clinical studies of cellular ex-vivo experiments in patients support the liberal use of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in the setting of trauma, surgery, and intensive care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume179
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

Fingerprint

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Critical Care
Eicosapentaenoic Acid
Docosahexaenoic Acids
Wounds and Injuries
Food
Blast Injuries
Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
Critical Illness
Homeostasis
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Lipids
Amino Acids
Proteins
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Nutritional armor for the injured warfighter : omega-3 fatty acids in surgery, trauma, and intensive care. / McCarthy, Mary S.; Morgan, Brian B.; Heineman, John T.; Martindale, Robert.

In: Military Medicine, Vol. 179, No. 11, 01.11.2014, p. 88-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

McCarthy, Mary S. ; Morgan, Brian B. ; Heineman, John T. ; Martindale, Robert. / Nutritional armor for the injured warfighter : omega-3 fatty acids in surgery, trauma, and intensive care. In: Military Medicine. 2014 ; Vol. 179, No. 11. pp. 88-94.
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