In this multicenter prospective controlled trial, 98 evaluable patients sustaining major torso trauma were randomized to receive early enteral nutrition with a new “immune-enhancing” diet (study: n = 51) or a standard stress enteral formula (control: n = 47). At baseline, both groups had comparable demographics and injury Severity Scores. After 7 days of feeding, the groups had equivalent increases in serum total protein, albumin, and transferrin concentrations. Patients receiving the “immune-enhancing” diet, however, experienced significantly greater increases in total lymphocyte (p = 0.014), T lymphocyte (p = 0.04), and T-helper (p = 0.004) cell numbers. Additionally, these patients had significantly fewer intraabdominal abscesses (study, 0% vs. control, 11%; p = 0.023) and significantly less multiple organ failure (study, 0% vs. control, 11%; p = 0.023). In conclusion, this multicenter trial suggests this “immune-enhancing” enteral diet offers clinical benefits in stressed surgical patients.
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