Omega-3 fatty acid-, micronutrient-, and probiotic-enriched nutrition helps body weight stabilization in head and neck cancer cachexia

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Abstract

Objective.

To evaluate whether an oral nutritional supplement enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, micronutrients, and probiotics affected body weight (BW) changes, serum albumin and prealbumin levels in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) cachexia.

Study Design.

Sixty-eight HNC patients were randomly assigned to receive either an Ethanwell/Ethanzyme (EE) regimen enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, micronutrients, and probiotics, or control (Isocal) for a 3-month period. Analysis of covariance was used to examine the association between BW change and variables.

Results.

Patients with body mass index (BMI) <19 and those receiving the EE regimen consumed fewer daily calories but showed significantly increased BW and maintained higher serum albumin and prealbumin levels than other patients (P <.05). Their BW changes were significantly associated with changes in serum albumin and prealbumin levels.

Conclusions.

EE regimen improved BW as well as serum albumin and prealbumin levels in HNC patients with BMI <19.

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