The liver is the largest organ in the body with several important functions, e.g. synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Furthermore, the liver is playing an important role in the detoxifying of potentially lethal substances, which are produced in the body (e.g. ammonia) or delivered with food (e.g. drugs and alcohol). The organ also serves as a storage center for essential nutrients such as glycogen (storage form of glucose), iron, and the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K).
Patients who suffer from liver disease are often nutritionally compromised because of reduced food intake and disorders in the metabolism of ingested nutrients.
A severe and often deadly complication in patients with liver insufficiency is the so-called hepatic encephalopathy that is usually associated with altered concentrations of certain amino acids in the body. The hepatic encephalopathy is characterized by different severities including impaired abilities of writing, up to deep coma.
It is well known that the detrimental disturbance of the amino acid pattern is one of the influencing factors of hepatic encephalopathy. It is therefore advantageous to use diets with a specific pattern of certain amino acids for the dietary management in patients with severe hepatic encephalopathy to react this disturbance.
Fresenius Kabi offers parenteral and enteral solutions particularly suited to nutritional support in patients with liver insufficiency.