NUTRITION AND THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT: Edited by Maria Isabel Toulson Davisson Correia and Miquel A. GassullNourishing the dysfunctional gut and whey proteinAbrahão, Valériaa,b Author Information aETERNU Multidisciplinary Nutritional Team/Rio de Janeiro - Casa de Saúde São José, Hospital Badim, Hospital Pasteur, Hospital Israelita Albert Sabin, Hospital Cardiotrauma, Casa de Saúde Santa Lúcia bHospital Ipanema Plus, Intensive Care Unit - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Correspondence to Valéria Abrahão, Rua General Guedes da Fontoura 10 apto 509, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro 22621-240, Brazil. Tel: +55 2125792464; fax: +55 2125792464; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: September 2012 - Volume 15 - Issue 5 - p 480-484 doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328356b71e Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review This review discusses the mechanisms of the dysfunctional gut during the critical illness and the possibility that an immunonutrient such as whey protein can play a role in better tolerance of enteral nutrition, also decreasing inflammation and increasing anti-inflammatory defenses. Recent findings Impaired gastric motor function and associated feed intolerance are common issues in critically ill patients. Some studies have been published with enteral nutrition enriched with whey protein as a dietary protein supplement that provides antimicrobial activity, immune modulation, improving muscle strength and body composition, and preventing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Summary Early enteral feeding will enhance patient recovery and the use of enteral diets enriched with whey protein may play a role in these patients. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.