Parenteral Nutrition: Amino Acids

Nutrients. 2017 Mar 10;9(3):257. doi: 10.3390/nu9030257.


There is growing interest in nutrition therapies that deliver a generous amount of protein, but not a toxic amount of energy, to protein-catabolic critically ill patients. Parenteral amino acids can achieve this goal. This article summarizes the biochemical and nutritional principles that guide parenteral amino acid therapy, explains how parenteral amino acid solutions are formulated, and compares the advantages and disadvantages of different parenteral amino acid products with enterally-delivered whole protein products in the context of protein-catabolic critical illness.

Keywords: amino acids; critical illness; nutritional support; parenteral nutrition; protein nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Parenteral Nutrition*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Amino Acids
  • Dietary Proteins