Exercise Medicine Research Institute
Cancer‐associated malnutrition, or cachexia, stemming from cancer or its treatments, is particularly prevalent in metastatic cancers, and is often interrelated with sarcopenia and frailty. Evidence suggests that dietary supplements play a role in managing these conditions. As metastatic cancer cells are associated with notable genomic and phenotypic alterations, response to dietary supplements may differ between metastatic and non‐metastatic cancers. However, research in this area is lacking. This scoping review aims to identify the dietary supplements that have been studied in patients with metastatic cancers and malnutrition‐related conditions, along with their proposed effects, mechanisms, outcome measures, and tools used. A systematic search was conducted across databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and clinical trial registries. Of the initial 6535 records screened, a total of 48 studies were included, covering a range of dietary supplements— vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, fiber, and others. While the types of dietary supplements included varied across cancer types, omega‐3 and carnitine were investigated most often. Proposed relevant attributes of dietary supplements included their antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory, anti‐cancer, and immunomodulatory properties. Overall, there was a paucity of interventional studies, and more randomized controlled trials are warranted.
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