Nutritional treatment of cancer cachexia in rats. Use of a diet formulated with a crayfish enzymatic extract.
Eur J Nutr. 2007 Sep;46(6):347-53. Epub 2007 Aug 4. PMID: 17676424
Depto. de Bioquímica, Bromatología, Toxicología y M.L., Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Sevilla, 41012 Sevilla, Spain.
BACKGROUND: Terminal cancer-associated cachexia, characterized by a marked weight loss, anorexia, asthenia and anemia, is usually associated with a malnutrition status.
AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate whether a diet formulated with a crayfish enzymatic extract, enriched in essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and astaxanthin, would be effective for the treatment of cancer-associated cachexias, by decreasing mortality and morbidity rates in cachectic rats and/or improving survival.
METHODS: Two types of diet were used: a standard diet and one formulated with crayfish enzymatic extract. Rats were divided into two groups (24 animals per group): one without tumor (T-) and the other with tumor (T+) (AH-130 Yoshida ascites hepatoma). Each group was further divided into two subgroups (12 animals per subgroup). Two subgroups (T-(standard) and T+(standard)) were fed the standard diet and the other two (T-(CFEE) and T+(CFEE)) the crayfish enzymatic extract one for four weeks, after which different tissue and plasma parameters were studied.
RESULTS: The implantation of the tumor resulted in a considerable loss of muscle and adipose tissue mass in both groups, but the loss of muscle and fat was lower in the group fed the crayfish enzymatic extract diet. There was also a concomitant increase in the plasma concentration of TNF-alpha, although the increase was smaller in the crayfish enzymatic extract-treated group.
CONCLUSION: This study shows that although the treatment of cachetic rats with the crayfish enzymatic extract diet did not revert the cachexia, it increased survival (57.1% vs. 25.9% in the group treated with crayfish enzymatic extract and standard diets, respectively) and meliorated the cachexia symptoms--anorexia and body mass loss (muscle and adipose tissue).