Nutrients ease pain, nausea, and speed healing after treatment

Omega-3s eased pain, sped healing of oral ulcers

Almost all who receive high-dose chemotherapy, and most of those with head and neck malignancies, develop the complication of oral ulcers, or mucositis. There are few treatment options. In this study, 60 men and women, aged 22 to 63, undergoing chemotherapy and developing grade-1 oral mucositis took a placebo or 360 mg EPA plus 240 mg DHA from fish oil, per day. Doctors asked participants to avoid sour and spicy foods, and any remedies other than those prescribed by oncologists.

After 24 hours, those in the omega-3 group reported significantly less pain compared to placebo. After one week, while the placebo group had not improved, symptoms were significantly lower in those taking omega-3s, including less irritation of the oral cavity and throat. After two weeks, with little change for placebo, the omega-3 group had no signs of mucositis. Those taking omega-3 also reported better general health, quality of life, the ability to eat, sleep, speak, brush teeth, and that they were satisfied with the omega-3 treatment.

Ginger reduced nausea

Earlier studies of nausea in pregnancy or after surgery found a ginger benefit, but results from prior chemotherapy-ginger studies were inconsistent. In this study, 51 people undergoing moderate to high-dose chemotherapy took a placebo or 300 mg of ginger extract four times per day with meals.

Over several chemotherapy cycles, while the placebo group did not improve, those taking ginger extract reported significantly better quality of life, including less nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.

Reference: Wounds; December, 2017, Vol. 29, No. 12,

Natural Insights for Well Being May 2018

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