METHODS: A double-blind randomized study was carried out with 140 colorectal cancer patients on chemotherapy. Subjects were separated into two groups to receive either placebo or MCP [30 billion colony-forming unit (CFUs) per sachet] at a dose of two sachets daily for 4 weeks, and omega-3 fatty acid at a dose of 2 g daily for 8 weeks. Outcomes measured were quality of life, side effects of chemotherapy and levels of inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and C-reactive protein.
RESULTS: The supplementation with MCP and omega-3 fatty acid improved the overall quality of life and alleviated certain side effects of chemotherapy. The supplementation with MCP and omega-3 fatty acid also managed to reduce the level of IL-6 (P = 0.002). There was a significant rise in the placebo group's serum TNF-α (P = 0.048) and IL-6 (P = 0.004).
CONCLUSION: The combined supplementation with MCP and omega-3 fatty acid may improve quality of life, reduce certain inflammatory biomarkers and relieve certain side effects of chemotherapy in colorectal patients on chemotherapy.