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Omega-3 intake and cachexia risk in cancer patients: systematic literature review

  • Fildzah Karunia Putri ,
  • Nabilah Farah Diba ,
  • Endah Budi Permana Putri ,


Introduction: Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that is needed but the body cannot synthesize it. Omega-3s have good benefits for the body; such as can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are one of the causes of cachexia in cancer patients. This study wanted to know about the intake of omega-3 either from food or supplements with the incidence of cachexia risk in cancer patients.

Method: A systematic literature review search was conducted using Search Engines, such as PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, and DOAJ. The articles identified with the inclusion and exclusion criteria specified in the PICOS table. Then an assessment of the quality of the article was carried out using the JBI Critical Appraisal Tool.

Result: From 127 articles, only four studies that eligible to further analysis. In 4 literature studies, three studies used clinical research methods and a retrospective cohort study. Three literature studies show an association between omega-3 supplements with increased body weight, fat mass, and serum albumin. Only one literature study did not show an association between omega-3 supplements with increased body weight, body fat mass, serum albumin, decreased serum CRP, or serum IL-6. The forms of omega-3 supplementations consumed by most cancer patients are Fish Oil (FO) and Marine Phospholipids (MPL). FO with a 1-7 grams dose can increase body weight and serum albumin levels in cancer patients. MPL with a dose of 8.5 grams can also increase body weight.

Conclusion: This review found varying certainties of evidence of omega-3 supplementation to prevent cachexia. The recommendation for taking FO and MPL supplements is three times a day.


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How to Cite

Putri, F. K., Diba, N. F. ., & Endah Budi Permana Putri. (2023). Omega-3 intake and cachexia risk in cancer patients: systematic literature review. Bali Medical Journal, 12(2), 1876–1880.




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Fildzah Karunia Putri
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