Pharmaconutrition Review: Physiological Mechanisms

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The search to improve outcomes in critically ill patients through nutrition support has steadily progressed over the past 4 decades. One current approach to this problem is the addition of specific nutrients as primary therapy to improve host defenses and improve the outcome of critically ill patients. The field is referred to as “pharmaconutrition,” with the hope of focusing investigations on each nutrient to understand its pharmacological effects on immune and clinical outcomes. The purpose of this review is to describe some of the known physiological mechanisms of pharmaconutrients such as glutamine, arginine, ω-3 fatty acids, and selenium. (JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2013;37:51S-65S)

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