Omega-3 Protect During ChemotherapyEarlier 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. 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.
(Reference: Nutrition Journal; January, 2017, Vol. 33, 204-10)
Additional Comments from Don Goldberg
There is considerable evidence that certain types of nutritional and herbal supplements adaptogenic herbs, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients alleviate the side effects and toxicity inherent to many cancer treatments. Doctor's are often reluctant to recommend supplements because they fear this may reduce the effectiveness of the cancer treatment. This may be misguided, and as studies such as this one continue to accumulate, perhaps things will change.