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Fish oil keeps muscles during chemo

Keep strong — even on chemo

We here on the Nutrition & Healing team spend a lot of time thinking about cancer. About the alternative treatments — and cures! — that get hidden by the mainstream, about the ways in which nutrition can help prevent cancer…And about the poisons the mainstream still touts as the cutting edge in cancer treatment, despite so much evidence for the first two.

A quick jaunt through the archives at www.wrightnewsletter.com reveals pages upon pages of reading material that will turn just about anyone into an expert on alternative cancer-fighting choices.

But we also realize that some people, when faced with one of the most frightening decisions of their lives, still decide to rely on mainstream medicine for cancer treatment.

This e-Tip is for them.

Choosing conventional treatment for cancer often means undergoing chemotherapy. Of course, chemo doesn’t just target cancer cells — it also ravages healthy cells, leaving the body weakened in many ways. Modern medicine currently has no answer for the malnutrition that accompanies chemotherapy. Chemo patients often lose muscle mass (and weight in general) when undergoing treatment.

There is an incredibly simple way, though, to prevent that loss — one that is completely free of side effects.

And all it takes is 2 grams a day.

In fact, you probably already have this in your medicine cabinet. I know I do — in fact, I take it every day to keep my heart and brain (among other things — once again, a search of the archive reveals the multiple benefits of this particular supplement) healthy.

I’m talking about fish oil. Yep, that inexpensive omega-3 fatty acid-packed oil has racked up another gold star.

Research published in the journal Cancer shows that fish oil can help chemo patients maintain — and even gain — muscle. Patients who took 2.2 grams of fish oil each day for 10 weeks maintained their weight, while people who didn’t take the supplement lost an average of just over 5 pounds.

People who increased their fish oil intake had the greatest gains in muscle, and 69 percent of patients taking fish oil gained or maintained muscle mass. Only 29 percent of the patients who weren’t given fish oil maintained muscle (and none of them gained any), and on average, people not taking fish oil lost more than 2 pounds of muscle in the 10-week treatment period.

Researchers found the results promising enough to recommend that people receiving chemotherapy treatments supplement with 2 grams of fish oil per day. They also suggest that it could be good for other people with malnutrition-causing diseases, as well as older people who are at risk for muscle loss.

Sources:
“Fish oil fights weight loss due to chemotherapy,” Physorg.com (www.physorg.com)