Metabolic response to feeding in weight-losing pancreatic cancer patients and its modulation by a fish-oil-enriched nutritional supplement

M D Barber, D C McMillan, T Preston, J A Ross, K C Fearon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Weight-losing patients with advanced cancer often fail to gain weight with conventional nutritional support. This suboptimal response might be explained, in part, by an increased metabolic response to feeding. It has been suggested that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can modify beneficially the metabolic response to cancer. The aim of the present study was to examine the metabolic response to feeding in cancer and the effects of an EPA-enriched oral food supplement on this response. A total of 16 weight-losing, non-diabetic patients with unresectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma and six healthy, weight-stable controls were studied by indirect calorimetry in the fasting and fed states. Body composition was estimated by bioimpedence analysis. Cancer patients were then given a fish-oil-enriched nutritional supplement providing 2 g of EPA and 2550 kJ daily, and underwent repeat metabolic study after 3 weeks of such supplementation. At baseline, resting energy expenditure whether expressed per kg body weight, lean body mass or body cell mass was significantly greater in the cancer patients compared with controls. Fat oxidation was significantly higher in the fasting state in cancer patients [median 1.26 g.kg(-1).min(-1) (interquartile range 0.95-1.38)] than in controls [0.76 g.kg(-1). min(-1) (0.62-0.92); P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-99
Number of pages11
JournalClinical science
Volume98
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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