The Effect of Omega-3 Enriched Oral Nutrition Supplement on Nutritional Indices and Quality of Life in Gastrointestinal Cancer Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Food and Nutrition, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea.

2 Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 04310, Korea.

3 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Gastroenterology, Seoul 03722, Korea.

4 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul 02841, South Korea.


Objective: Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer patients often experience severe malnutrition during cancer therapies due to gastrointestinal dysfunctions including poor digestion and absorption as well as tumor-associated anorexia. In this study, we performed a randomized clinical trial to determine the efficacy of oral nutrition supplement (ONS) enriched with omega-3 fatty acids on nutritional status, quality of life (QOL), and pro-inflammatory indices. Methods: Patients diagnosed with GI cancers were recruited and screened for eligibility. A total of 58 patients were randomly allocated to either the control group (n=27) or the experimental group (n=31). The intervention group received 200 ml ONS twice a day while the control group received routine care. Anthropometrics, Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) score, QOL score and nutrient intake data were collected at baseline, week 4 and week 8. Blood was drawn for biochemical assessments. Nine patients from each group dropped out of the study Forty patients (18 control patients and 22 intervention patients) completed the study. Results: This study showed that ONS intervention improved PG-SGA scores in the intervention group (p<0.01). Scores of physical functioning score and role functioning were declined only in the control group and the difference between week 8 and baseline for role functioning was significant (p<0.001). Fatigue score was steadily decreased in the experiment group, and the differences between week 8 and baseline was significant between two groups (p<0.02). However, no statistically significant improvement in biochemical markers of nutritional status and pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations were found. These results suggests that ONS intervention for 8 weeks improves PG-SGA scores and QOL scores in patients undergoing cancer therapy.


Main Subjects

Volume 23, Issue 2
February 2022
Pages 485-494
  • Receive Date: 27 July 2021
  • Revise Date: 17 January 2022
  • Accept Date: 20 February 2022
  • First Publish Date: 20 February 2022