Oral Nutritional Supplements Containing (n-3) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Affect the Nutritional Status of Patients with Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer during Multimodality Treatment

Barbara S. van der Meij, Jacqueline A. E. Langius, Egbert F. Smit, Marieke D. Spreeuwenberg, B. Mary E. von Blomberg, Annemieke C. Heijboer, Marinus A. Paul, Paul A. M. van Leeuwen, M.D. Speeuwenberg

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Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), (n-3) fatty acids from fish oil, have immune-modulating effects and may improve nutritional status in cancer. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of an oral nutritional supplement containing (n-3) fatty acids on nutritional status and inflammatory markers in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) undergoing multimodality treatment. In a double-blind experiment, 40 patients with stage III NSCLC were randomly assigned to receive 2 cans/d of a protein- and energy-dense oral nutritional supplement containing (n-3) fatty acids (2.0 g EPA + 0.9 g DHA/d) or an isocaloric control supplement. EPA in plasma phospholipids, energy intake, resting energy expenditure (REE), body weight, fat free mass (FFM), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), and inflammatory markers were assessed. Effects of intervention were analyzed by generalized estimating equations and expressed as regression coefficients (B). The intervention group (I) had a better weight maintenance than the control (C) group after 2 and 4 wk (B = 1.3 and 1.7 kg, respectively; P <0.05), a better FFM maintenance after 3 and 5 wk (B = 1.5 and 1.9 kg, respectively; P <0.05), a reduced BEE (B = -16.7% of predicted; P = 0.01) after 3 wk, and a trend for a greater MUAC (B = 9.1; P = 0.06) and lower interleukin-6 production (B = -27.9; P = 0.08) after 5 wk. After 4 wk, the I group had a higher energy and protein intake than the C group (B = 2456 kJ/24 h, P = 0.03 and B = 25.0 g, P = 0.01, respectively). In conclusion, a protein- and energy-dense oral nutritional supplement containing (n-3) fatty acids beneficially affects nutritional status during multimodality treatment in patients with NSCLC. J. Nutr. 140: 1774-1780, 2010
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1774-1780
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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