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Omega-3 fatty acids help advanced lung cancer patients

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By Jimmy Downs

Friday Sept 21, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study in British Journal of Nutrition has found supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids can help advanced lung cancer patients.

Researchers at San Giovanni Battista Hospital in Turin, Italy conducted the trial and found long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish oil have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects and improve nutrition in lung cancer patients.

In the study,  lung cancer patients were given a placebo or four capsules per day containing 510 mg of EPA and 340 mg of DHA, two major omega-fatty acids found in fish oil for 66 days.  Patients underwent chemotherapy and at 8, 22 and 66 days, biochemical and anthropometric parameters were measured in both groups.

The researchers found that lung cancer patients receiving n-3 or omega-3 fatty acids increased body weight, decreased c-reactive protein, IL-6 levels during chemotherapy, had lower levels of plasma reactive oxygen species levels and stable hydroxynonenal levels, compared to the patients in the placebo group.

The researchers concluded "Our data confirm that the continual assumption of EPA plus DHA determined an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative action which could be considered a preliminary goal in anti-cachectic therapy (in lung cancer patients)."

Previous studies also linked use of omega- 3 fatty acids supplements with good outcome of lung cancer treatment.

Lung cancer is deadly.  When it is diagnosed, it is often in a late or advanced stage.  So its prognosis is bad.  Prevention is key.

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