Omega-3 supplementation before Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
Obesity is one of the most serious health problems in the world today and is considered a global epidemic (it is the second leading avoidable cause of death after smoking) by the World Health Organisation. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a surgical treatment for severe obesity.
Of all the elements involved in immunonutrition formulas, omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) are thought to be the most important component in immunomodulation, with significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. A team of Spanish researchers recently analysed the use of an omega-3 FA-enriched nutritional supplement in patients about to undergo a Roux-en-Y bypass. Their aim was to establish whether omega-3 FA supplementation had an effect on pre-operative weight-loss, postoperative pain and complications.
In the study, patients were randomly assigned to received one of the following from 10 days to 8 hours before the operation: 1) a high-protein formula balanced for energy (control group, n = 20); or 2) the same formula, but enriched with omega-3 FA (experimental group, n = 20). The calorie restriction during this period was 900 Kcal/day for both groups.
Loss of excess weight before the operation was significantly (p = 0.024) higher in the experimental group (14.1 ± 5.8%) than in the control group (10.6 ± 7.7%). The omega-3 FA group also experienced less (p = 0.015) postoperative pain than the control group. Furthermore, concentrations of C-reactive protein 24 h after surgery were significantly lower in the experimental group. There were no statistically significant differences in complications, mortality or readmissions between both groups.
The addition of omega-3 FA to nutritional supplementation was significantly associated with greater pre-surgery weight-loss, less post-surgical pain and lower postoperative levels of C-reactive protein.