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

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104 Citations (Scopus)


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 REE (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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1774-80
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


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