7

votes

What are the best foods for chemo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 06, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I have a friend that will be undergoing chemo and radiation treatments. I am trying to encourage real food, non processed, nutrient rich food, but am wondering what are the best foods to eat during chemo treatments. Not from personal experience, but from others, I know that appetites are ruined, and often times nasty stuff like Ensure are suggested by drs. I would think a bone broth soup would be good, but are there any other suggestions? Are there some foods to avoid....like night shade types?

Also, does anyone have a very nutrient rich bone broth recipe?

Thanks

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:59 PM

Fish oil supplements can interfere with some chemo meds, curcumin too. Turmeric may be ok since it's not refined to the curcumin. Be careful and check any and all supplements. Kefirs and yogurts may be off limits for some chemo patients too as the live cultures, while usually so good for us, could cause some trouble when our immune systems are compromised by chemo.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 17, 2012
at 01:26 PM

Thank you for this, but sadly they recommend ensure and other nasty stuff. I want him to avoid this sort of thing.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on April 14, 2012
at 11:56 PM

Hi Sue - I know this is late but I just read this article about Green Tea. Looks like taking green tea with high protein can help partition the aminos to lean tissue and away from tumors. http://www.byronrichards.com/index.php/thyroid_leptin/entry/green_tea_polyphenols_enhance_protein_metabolism_reduce_tumors

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 07, 2012
at 06:10 PM

It's been a while, and I've tried to forget as much about that time as I could, so I'm not sure. But basically from what I've seen is that you really don't want anything "extra" even, seemingly benign stuff like extra antioxidents and stuff can get in the way. You should do more research (because lots of it is fuzzy for me), but really just stick with a whole food ketogenic diet and let the chemo do its thing.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 07, 2012
at 01:31 PM

This is very interesting to me. I will check it out.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 07, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Thank you, I will check out Robb Wolf. He has great info

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 07, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Hi miked, do you have specific supplements?

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 07, 2012
at 01:29 PM

Thank you Meredith, this is very helpful.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 07, 2012
at 01:28 PM

I was wondering....auto-correct is a pain

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on April 06, 2012
at 07:15 PM

I think I've used some pretty silly wording there. Fat burning in the sense of helping to get you into a more ketogenic state vs. burning sugar for energy. Definitely NOT to lose weight.

5af4bc9d2c390b0bcad9524f149c1b4f

(1101)

on April 06, 2012
at 07:02 PM

Mark Sisson did an article on this too, referencing the mice. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fasting-cancer/#axzz1rHwiwDzw

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on April 06, 2012
at 05:02 PM

This might be a really stupid question, but why would someone on chemo want to take fat-burning supplements? I understand that ketosis gives you energy, but chemo patients don't tend to have a ton of fat to spare, so how does it work, and what are the benefits?

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 06, 2012
at 04:41 PM

I would add kefir to this list - it helps boost immunity. If you let it ferment plenty long most of the lactose is gone and you're left with potent B-viatmins, folate, K2 and calcium.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 06, 2012
at 04:38 PM

Hot sauce. Not hot stairs. Damn you auto correct.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 06, 2012
at 04:37 PM

That loss of taste is not fun. I had to put hot stairs on everything just to have some flavor. What I know now though is that ketosis is good and sugar is terrible when you're on chemo.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on April 06, 2012
at 03:16 PM

I'd like to know this as well. My grandmother is going through the same thing and seems to have lost her taste for a lot of food and ends up eating waffles topped with ice cream because she can actually taste it.

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6 Answers

9
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on April 06, 2012
at 04:22 PM

Hi Sue, I am sorry that your friend is having to go through this. Here is a snippet of some notes that some friends and I took for one of our own loved ones who is also going through chemo and cancer treatment. This goes a bit beyond the scope of yoru question, but I thought I'd share since we took a bit of time to sleuth out all of this. We are not doctors, but we did consult with a well known, and very generous doctor in taking these notes. Some people may not agree wholly, but I think these recommendations are pretty uncontroversial.

Keep carbs (starch, sugar) and protein low (.75 gram per kilo of lbm)

Take supps that support fat burning like fish oil coq10 l-carnitine selenium beta glucan

Stress reduction/yoga/meditation program.

Using coconut oil to promote ketone/fat burning also to keep energy intake up during the low carb/protein diet.

Since we want to reduce IGF 1 and growth factors, milk is out. Cheeses and fermented dairy as long as they don't have too much sugar should be okay.

Consider supplements like: Vitamin d3 K2, K3, K5 Curcumin or turmeric zinc (perhaps) Vitamin A

HERE'S THE FOOD PART:

Foods that provide these needed nutrients are marrow, egg yolk, pastured butter, liver, kelp and other sea veggies, garlic, fermented veggies, bone broth. Bone broth is particularly good if you use the marrow bones, leave some marrow in the broth maybe. Gelatin does not have some of the "anabolic" aminos that upregulate MTor which is what you want to avoid.

Bone broth is very easy to make if you have a crock pot. Simply put the bones in the crock and let them slowly simmer overnight. I try to let mine go for a long time. My other recommendation is to check out whether you can get access to chicken feet. I know, I know, sounds terrible, right? Chicken feet will yield highly gelatinous broth in just a few hours. I can get my first batch in like 3 hours and can even put the same ones back on for another round, just for a but longer, and get an even better batch from round 2. Again, crock it. If you don't have a crock, just cover the bones/feet in a stockpot, put a tightly fitting lid on, bring to a light boil then reduce heat to low and let go overnight for bones and about 5 hours for feet.

Good luck and best wishes.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on April 06, 2012
at 05:02 PM

This might be a really stupid question, but why would someone on chemo want to take fat-burning supplements? I understand that ketosis gives you energy, but chemo patients don't tend to have a ton of fat to spare, so how does it work, and what are the benefits?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on April 06, 2012
at 07:15 PM

I think I've used some pretty silly wording there. Fat burning in the sense of helping to get you into a more ketogenic state vs. burning sugar for energy. Definitely NOT to lose weight.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 06, 2012
at 04:41 PM

I would add kefir to this list - it helps boost immunity. If you let it ferment plenty long most of the lactose is gone and you're left with potent B-viatmins, folate, K2 and calcium.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 07, 2012
at 01:29 PM

Thank you Meredith, this is very helpful.

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:59 PM

Fish oil supplements can interfere with some chemo meds, curcumin too. Turmeric may be ok since it's not refined to the curcumin. Be careful and check any and all supplements. Kefirs and yogurts may be off limits for some chemo patients too as the live cultures, while usually so good for us, could cause some trouble when our immune systems are compromised by chemo.

5
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 06, 2012
at 06:59 PM

I wanted to add another thought. Be very careful about suplements. There's lots of stuff touted by the more hippie side of the community and it can actually get in the way of the chemo. Lots of stuff that "make he chemo feel less bad" does that by actually blocking the interaction of the chemo.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 07, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Hi miked, do you have specific supplements?

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 07, 2012
at 06:10 PM

It's been a while, and I've tried to forget as much about that time as I could, so I'm not sure. But basically from what I've seen is that you really don't want anything "extra" even, seemingly benign stuff like extra antioxidents and stuff can get in the way. You should do more research (because lots of it is fuzzy for me), but really just stick with a whole food ketogenic diet and let the chemo do its thing.

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 06, 2012
at 04:34 PM

Yeah when I did chemo the doctors just said to eat whatever I could whenever I could. They even had bags of Doritos in the infusion room!

That makes me so mad now thinking back on it. Their advise actually made things worse (but I didn't know then).

Robb Wolf has a fairly recent podcast where he talks about this. Go take a listen for he full details but the main point I remember is that being in ketosis both helps good cells be more resultant to and bad cells more susceptible to chemo.

I could have gotten away with less dose of (really toxic, mutagenic) chemo if they would have given me good diet advice.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 07, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Thank you, I will check out Robb Wolf. He has great info

1
50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

on April 06, 2012
at 06:43 PM

I've just seen a documentary about fasting. A researcher from california made experiments with mice - well fed and fasted ones. Then both groups got very high dose chemotherapy. Only the fasted mice survived.

There was an interview with a woman, who had breast cancer and she decided to do the fast (soemthing betwenn three or five days) in advance of chemo. She felt much better while fasted. She also tried the well fet scenario and she felt worse.

http://www.world-science.net/othernews/120208_fasting.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120208152254.htm

Seems the guys name is Valter Longo, professor of gerontology and biological sciences at the University of Southern California.

5af4bc9d2c390b0bcad9524f149c1b4f

(1101)

on April 06, 2012
at 07:02 PM

Mark Sisson did an article on this too, referencing the mice. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fasting-cancer/#axzz1rHwiwDzw

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 07, 2012
at 01:31 PM

This is very interesting to me. I will check it out.

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 06, 2012
at 07:30 PM

There is a great book that deals with food and changes in tastes, lack taste etc. of how to feed cancer patients going through chemo (because apparently it changes the taste of foods) and how to feed them to help them improve.....highly recommended...

The cancer fighting kitchen, by Rebecca Katz ISBN: 978-1-58761-344-9

0
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on April 06, 2012
at 07:21 PM

Hi Sue,

I found this article which may be of some help. It mentions what one might like to avoid and what to include (antioxidants). http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/nutrition_during.htm

It's specific to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and even offers tips on making food more palatable (like chilling meats) as appetites are often supressed during treatment.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 17, 2012
at 01:26 PM

Thank you for this, but sadly they recommend ensure and other nasty stuff. I want him to avoid this sort of thing.

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