If the findings of a latest study are to be believed, protein found in milk could alleviate chemotherapy side effects.It is a well-known fact the chemotherapy and other cancer therapies come with a host of side effects which may affect your taste buds and olfactory senses, thereby hampering the patient's sense to enjoy flavours of the food. Over time, taste and smell abnormalities (TSA) can lead to a loss of appetite and anorexic behaviours, compromising patients' ability to recuperate from the disease.
For the study that appeared in the Journal- Food & Function, the team investigated the feasibility of lactoferrin, a highly bioactive protein found in saliva and milk, as a treatment for TSA.
Duncan, one of the lead researchers said, "The underlying molecular mechanisms of TSA are not well-understood. The prevailing symptom described by patients undergoing chemotherapy is a persistent metallic flavour or aftertaste, with or without food intake. This can last for hours, weeks, or even months after the completion of treatments."
Poor appetite, weight loss, depression, and diminished nutrition, are common after-effects of the therapy. Although TSA is widespread and a frequent complaint of cancer patients, until now, there have been no established therapies that reliably prevent or treat this problem.
"Our research shows that daily lactoferrin supplementation elicits changes in the salivary protein profiles in cancer patients. Changes that may be influential in helping to protect taste buds and odour perception," said Duncan.
"By suggesting lactoferrin as a dietary supplement, we can reduce TSA for many patients, restoring their ability to enjoy foods during a time in which nutrition can play a key role in their recovery," he added.
According to the researchers, this study could help us develop TSA-targeted biomarkers and strategies for improving the quality of life during chemotherapy. "Cancer patients and their supporting family and friends may again find comfort in enjoying a meal together," Duncan stated.
The findings, according to scientist could prove to be a critical intervention in lives of those taking chemotherapy. It can make it possible for cancer patients to taste foods properly and to enjoy a healthier appetite, enabling more optimal nutrition during a critical period of recovery. Lactoferrin is also said to boost expression of salivary immune proteins, which may help reduce oxidative stress and resulting side effects.
Here are 5 Other Benefits of Milk That Make It a Must-Have:
1. Calcium rich: With every one cup (250 ml) of milk you receive close to 285mg calcium which meets over 20% of your daily requirement of calcium.
2. Nutrient dense: Milk also comes loaded with a host of nutrients like Vitamin A, B1, B2, B12, D, choline; potassium, magnesium among others.
3. Weight loss: According to experts conjugated linolenic acid found in milk can help in burning fat.
4. Immunity: Milk when teamed with ingredients like turmeric (haldi) helps in building stronger immunity and withstand the change in season.
5. For radiant skin: Milk has long been a part of traditional beauty regimes, from being a part of face masks and packs, to preparing natural moisturizers.
(With inputs ANI )
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