Researchers at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and German company B. Braun Melsungen recently compared the effects of a lipid emulsion containing medium-chain triglycerides, supplemented with alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) to a conventional long-chain triglyceride emulsion.
The findings are published in the February 2002 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In a randomised double blind study, 24 patients with an indication for total parenteral nutrition for a minimum of 10 days were assigned to two groups.
Group E received medium-chain triglycerides/long-chain triglycerides (50/50) supplemented with 100 mg/dl alpha-tocopherol per day as the lipid source while group C received long-chain triglycerides.
Blood samples were analysed at the beginning of the study, after four to six days, and after nine to 11 days.
Findings revealed that supplementation of total parental nutrition containing medium-chain triglycerides/long-chain triglycerides with 100 mg dl alpha-tocopherol/day may lead to a doubling in serum alpha-tocopherol and to a reduction in the susceptibility of low density lipoproteins and very low density lipoproteins to peroxidation in vitro, researchers concluded.