Background and aims: The aim of our study was to investigate whether medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) and protein-enriched enteral nutrition (EN) could improve protein level and clinical outcomes in postoperative patients with gastrointestinal cancer.
Material and methods: A randomized clinical trial was performed. A population of 229 patients with gastrointestinal cancer was enrolled and allocated to two groups: (a) 114 patients received MCT and protein-enriched EN (Group I) and (b) 115 patients received an isocaloric EN (Group II). The total calorie was 25 kcal/kg/day and the time period of full dose of EN must be at least five days.
Results: The three plasma proteins were improved after the EN support in both groups (p < .05). But, the increase of prealbumin in Group I was higher than that in Group II (p < .05). Episodes of diarrhea rate were equal and the postoperative infectious complications were not different between both groups. The length of hospital stay was shorter in Group I (18.4 ± 12 vs. 24.5 ± 15 d; p < .05).
Conclusions: MCT and protein-enriched EN improves the prealbumin level and shortens the length of hospital stay in patients with gastrointestinal cancer without a high rate of adverse reaction, which may be due to high content of MCT and protein in EN.