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Lipid Therapy for Nutrition

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Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh, DVM, DACVECC, discusses using lipids for nutritional support in ICU patients.

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Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh's picture
Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh

DVM DACVECC

Enrolled: 08/2011

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Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh's picture

Hi Jordan! Nice to see you here at OnTheFloor! Your question as well as the question of using lipids for cats that have hepatic lipidosis are the two questions I get most commonly. You'd think that giving fat to a patient that has a condition that is partly fat-driven may make the condition worse but it's actually the opposite. Of course, if you overload a patient with IV lipids they can get hypertriglyceridemia but it would take a large overdose to cause that problem. When animals (including humans) are in a starvation state the body releases free fatty acids from tissue stores that subsequently become oxidated into a utilizable form. But this system is not perfect and much more free fatty acids are released than are actually used. This can be associated with systemic or organ inflammation. Ironically giving these patient an exogenous source of lipid for calories off sets this process of endogenous lipid metabolism. I'm not 100% clear on how the feedback mechanism works but I have some sources that talk more about how it works - it's all very biochemical :) Let me know if you're interested in knowing more.