Intravenous lipid emulsions (ILEs) have been an integral component of parenteral nutrition for more than 50 years. Numerous formulations are available and are based on vegetable (soybean, olive, coconut) and animal (fish) oils. Therefore, each of these formulations has a unique fatty acid composition that offers both benefits and limitations. As clinical experience and our understanding of the effects of fatty acids on various physiological processes has grown, there is evidence to suggest that some ILEs may have benefits compared with others. Current evidence suggests that olive oil-based ILE may preserve immune, hepatobiliary, and endothelial cell function, and may reduce lipid peroxidation and plasma lipid levels. There is good evidence from a large randomized controlled study to support a benefit of olive oil-based ILE over soybean oil-based ILE on reducing infections in critically ill patients. At present there is limited evidence to demonstrate a benefit of olive oil-based ILE over other ILEs on glucose metabolism, and few data exist to demonstrate a benefit on clinical outcomes such as hospital or intensive care unit stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, or mortality. We review the current research and clinical evidence supporting the potential positive biological and clinical aspects of olive oil-based ILE and conclude that olive oil-based ILE is well tolerated and provides effective nutritional support to various PN-requiring patient populations. Olive oil-based ILE appears to support the innate immune system, is associated with fewer infections, induces less lipid peroxidation, and is not associated with increased hepatobiliary or lipid disturbances. These data would suggest that olive oil-based ILE is a valuable option in various PN-requiring patient populations.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited