Wow! This one has even me surprised. A recent study has shown omega-3 fatty acids (FA) to help cancer patients preserve muscle tissue and avoid malnutrition. By taking fish oil supplements, lung cancer patients avoided losing muscle mass and weight from chemotherapy treatments. Astounding!
The small study, published in the Feb. 28 online edition of Cancer, looked at 40 people with lung cancer that were undergoing 10 weeks of chemotherapy;16 of the subjects received 2.2 grams of fish oil containing the omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), while the other 24 received chemotherapy alone. The results: the chemo only group lost an average of just over 5 pounds, while the chemo plus omega-3 FAs group lost no weight at all. Further, 70% of the fish oil group either gained or kept their original muscle mass, while 30% of the no fish oil group lost muscle mass. I’m blown away.
This study is important for the obvious reason–possible supplemental treatment to help keep cancer patients undergoing chemo from wasting away. But for me the real fascination is how amazing the body is. Give it what it needs and watch Innate Intelligence take over to produce health. Incredible!
Some are cautioning against premature optimism. Says one registered dietitian and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Dallas,
“I would caution that the amount of pure concentrated fish oil supplement the people in this study were given is a lot–much, much more than any recommended dietary allowance, along the lines of two to three servings of fish per week…[P]eople should definitely not go out and start consuming huge amounts of fish oil.”
That’s one way of looking at it. But as far as I’m concerned, we can forget the optimism and try marveling. Ain’t the human body awe-inspiring? Yes I’m surprised by this study, simply because sometimes I cannot grasp the magnitude of intelligence operating through the human life form…and the universe. It sure is humbling. A good reminder that our educated mind cannot improve on nature’s order. Not yet anyhow…and maybe never.