Pharmaconutrition for the obese, critically ill patient

Ryan T. Hurt, Thomas H. Frazier, Stephen A. McClave, Matt C. Cave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Obesity is an epidemic that affects approximately 30% of the adult population in the United States. The prevalence of obesity in the critically ill seems to correlate with the rise in obesity in the general population. Delivery of standard enteral nutrition (EN) to patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) has been shown to decrease infectious complications. Obese ICU patients may be at increased risk for infections, ICU length of stay, and ventilation requirements compared to the nonobese. Pharmaconutrition has been shown to decrease many of these negative ICU outcomes. Because of obesity-associated increased ICU risk, provision of certain pharmaconutrients should be considered in obese patients requiring EN therapy. This review examines the evidence for specific nutrients such as green tea, curcumin, sulforaphane, poly-unsaturated fatty acids, L-arginine, L-citrulline, L-leucine, protein, probiotics, magnesium, medium-chain triglycerides, and zinc for the treatment of obesity. These nutrients could potentially be added to current EN formulas or provided as supplements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60S-72S
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number5 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


  • Obesity
  • Pharmaconutrition
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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