The characterization of bovine milk fat lipids in surgical nutrition support

PI: Joseph Pierre

Pierre is an assistant professor of nutritional sciences at UW–Madison. His research interests include the gut microbiome, nutrition, and intestinal physiology and disease. Pierre’s position is funded by the Dairy Innovation Hub.

Parenteral nutrition (PN) is a clinical method of intravenous feeding that provides lifesaving nutrition support in patients who cannot feed via the gastrointestinal tract, due to trauma, surgery, intestinal inflammation or obstruction, or premature birth. PN is composed of dextrose, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and lipids provided as emulsions. While lifesaving and used in over 300,000 patients a year in the U.S., the lipid emulsion formulations developed over the last 50 years remain problematic and are a major hurdle in optimizing metabolic requirements, growth, and preventing progressive liver complications. Soybean oil is commonly used in many emulsion formulations despite containing phytosterols that likely induce liver toxicity. This project aims to test novel milk lipid emulsions in animal models for characterization of metabolic and immune response, as a superior solution to remedy clinical lipid nutrition issues.

Grace Lewis