It is now established that certain nutrients have a significant effect on cellular metabolism and growth, tissue repair and regeneration, and modulation of host defences. So far, however, potential clinical benefits have been difficult to demonstrate. Nevertheless, the use of nutrients in combinations seems to have promise and may be associated with a reduction in infectious complications and length of hospital stay. Nutritional pharmacology in the future may be able to improve tumour response to chemotherapy and may minimize the metabolic effect of cachexia.
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