Omega-3s improve outcomes in cancer treatments

Earlier studies found omega-3s helped maintain body weight and muscle mass during chemotherapy, but this study focused on how omega-3s might protect against chemo-toxicity.

In this study, 61 people undergoing chemotherapy for esophageal cancer took a nutritional supplement drink with 250 mg of omega-3s or 900 mg of omega-3s from linolenic acid—a type omega-3s found in plants such as flaxseed. Participants started taking the omega-3s three days before chemotherapy through the 12th day of treatment. Doctors administered the liquid through a nasal tube when participants were unable to drink.

After chemotherapy, the high-omega-3 group had less inflammation and fewer ulcerations in the mouth; a common complication of this type of treatment. The high-omega-3 group also had severe diarrhea half as often as the low-omega-3 group, and doctors also found fewer abnormalities in liver enzymes for those taking the high dose of omega-3s.


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