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Randomized clinical trial of perioperative omega-3 fatty acid supplements in elective colorectal cancer surgery.

Author(s): Sorensen LS(1), Thorlacius-Ussing O, Schmidt EB, Rasmussen HH, Lundbye-Christensen S, Calder PC, Lindorff-Larsen K.

Affiliation(s): Author information: (1)Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.

Publication date & source: 2014, Br J Surg. , 101(2):33-42

BACKGROUND: Omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs) may have beneficial clinical effects, and n-3 FA supplements may improve outcome after surgery. METHODS: In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial in single centre, patients referred for elective colorectal cancer surgery received either an n-3 FA-enriched oral nutritional supplement (ONS) (Supportan, 200 ml twice daily) providing 2.0 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 1.0 g docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day, or a standard isocaloric and isonitrogenous ONS, for 7 days before and 7 days after surgery. The primary endpoint was infectious and non-infectious complications within 30 days of surgery. Secondary endpoints were length of hospital stay, intensive care unit admission, readmissions, and concentrations of marine n-3 FAs and arachidonic acid in granulocyte membranes. RESULTS: Some 148 consecutive patients (68 women, 80 men; mean age 71 (range 41-89) years) were randomized. There was no significant difference between groups in infectious or non-infectious postoperative complications (P = 1.000). Granulocyte levels of EPA, DHA and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) were significantly higher in the n-3 FA-enriched supplement group compared with the control group (P < 0.001). The arachidonic acid level in granulocytes was significantly lower in the enriched group than in the control group (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: EPA, DHA and DPA were incorporated into granulocytes in patients receiving n-3 FAs, but this was not associated with improved postoperative outcomes. REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT00488904 (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov).

Page last updated: 2014-12-01

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