The role of bile acids in nutritional support

Van Niekerk, Gustav ; Davis, Tanja Andrea ; De Villiers, Willem ; Engelbrecht, Anna-Mart (2018-09-30)

CITATION: Van Niekerk, G. et al. 2018. The role of bile acids in nutritional support. Critical Care, 22:231, doi:10.1186/s13054-018-2160-4.

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Abstract: Nutritional support continues to receive much attention as a possible intervention to prevent loss of lean tissue mass, promote recovery and re-establish proper immune function in critical care patients. Yet there remains much controversy regarding the clinical efficacy of such interventions. In addition to the direct effect of nutrition in terms of micro- and macronutrient content, nutritional formulations may exert an effect via the physiological response to feeding. Here, we highlight the key role of postprandial reabsorbed bile acids in attenuating both the inflammatory response and autophagy. These observations suggest that not all patients would benefit from aggressive nutritional support.

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