Fish oil may help cancer patients fight muscle wastage
Omega-3 rich fish oil supplements may help cancer patients to prevent the muscle loss and malnutrition which commonly accompanies chemotherapy, according to new research.
The study, published in Cancer, found that patients supplemented with 2.2 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) per day maintained weight, muscle mass, and adipose tissue throughout approximately 10 weeks of chemotherapy, despite having a mean weight loss of 6.3 percent over the previous 6 months.
In the same time, patients receiving standard treatment with no supplementation were found to loose an average of 2.3 kilograms.
“Fish oil may prevent loss of weight and muscle by interfering with some of the pathways that are altered in advanced cancer … This holds great promise because currently there is no effective treatment for cancer-related malnutrition,” said Dr. Vera Mazurak, from the University of Alberta, Canada, who led the study.