Omega-3 fatty-acid enriched parenteral nutrition improves patient outcomes

November 8, 2019

A new systematic literature review and meta-analysis1 confirms and extends previous results that omega-3 (ω-3) fatty-acid enriched parenteral nutrition (PN) improves clinical outcomes compared with standard PN in adult patients. Including a total of 49 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), this literature review provides the most extensive and up-to-date analysis* of the effect of ω-3 fatty-acid enriched PN on patient outcomes.

According to this analysis, adding ω-3 fatty acids to PN significantly reduces the risk of infections by 40 % and the length of ICU and hospital stays by two days compared with standard PN. Moreover, the analysis revealed that PN enriched with fish oil significantly reduces sepsis by 56 %. An analysis of RCTs reporting laboratory parameters furthermore suggests that ω-3 fatty-acid enriched PN can have beneficial effects on liver chemistry, antioxidant status, markers of inflammation, and the fatty-acid profile. The authors conclude that lipid emulsions enriched with ω-3 fatty acids should be preferred over standard lipid emulsions in patients needing PN.

About the review and meta-analysis

The meta-analysis by Lorenzo Pradelli and colleagues was published in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition in June 2019. The review includes a total of 49 RCTs with 3641 adult hospital patients comparing outcomes between groups receiving ω-3 fatty-acid enriched lipid emulsions and groups receiving standard lipid emulsions as part of PN. Only those RCTs were included, in which PN accounted for at least 70 % of the patients’ daily energy provision. RCTs with off-label interventions were excluded from the analysis.

For more information you can find the full publication at

* Authors qualify this statement as being "…to the best of our knowledge…"


1. Pradelli L, Mayer K, Klek S et al. ω-3 Fatty-Acid Enriched Parenteral Nutrition in Hospitalized Patients: Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2019.

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Fresenius Kabi is a global healthcare company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. The company’s products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. Fresenius Kabi’s product portfolio comprises a comprehensive range of I.V. generic drugs, infusion therapies and clinical nutrition products as well as the devices for administering these products. In the field of biosimilars, we focus on autoimmune diseases and oncology. In 2019, the first biosimilar product by Fresenius Kabi was launched. Within transfusion medicine and cell technologies, Fresenius Kabi offers products for collection and processing of blood and cell components.

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