The effects of chemotherapy can be offset by supplements of fish oil, claim researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.
Led by Vera Mazurak, the research study compared the effects of fish oil with that of standard care where there is no special therapy given, on weight, muscle, and fat tissue in non-small cell lung cancer patients. The team of researchers discovered that the effects of chemotherapy which included weight loss and malnourishment were actually prevented by fish oil. The therapy's debilitating impact leading to fatigue, a decreased quality of life and shorter survival rates were offset by the omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid, that could help in maintain or even gaining muscle.
Patients who took the fish oil maintained their weight and gained or kept to their muscle mass. Whereas, patients who did not take the fish oil lost an average of 2.3 kilograms and one kilogram of muscle. There was no discernible difference in fat tissue.
The research concludes that fish oil had an effect on some of the pathways that change when a patient gets cancer, and so, prevented loss of weight and muscle.