Fats & Malabsorption

Hydrolyzing the fats contained in enteral formulas may be challenging for some patients who rely on enteral feeding. Many enteral formulas contain hydrolyzed proteins to facilitate absorption. However, enteral formulas do not contain hydrolyzed fats as they are not stable and may spoil quickly.

The pancreatic enzyme lipase is required to hydrolyze fats in enteral formulas, particularly long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), including omega-3 fats, into absorbable monoglycerides and free fatty acids.

Read more on LCTs, which are difficult to digest, and their nutritional importance. 

Enteral nutrition may be complicated by an inability to provide adequate lipase for the hydrolysis of fat in formula. Large portions of the formula may remain unhydrolyzed, leading to fewer calories, and symptoms such as stomach pain, gas, and oily or foul smelling stools.

Read more on fat malabsorption.