Chemotherapy

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Yoga – Chemotherapy associated symptoms

  • In 2012 the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a controlled pilot study involving 16 participants which found that breathing techniques involved in yoga helped reduced anxiety and sleep disturbance in chemotherapy patients, while improving mental outlook.

Acupuncture – Post chemotherapy fatigue

  • In 2004 the Journal of Clinical Oncology published a study in which 31 patients with severe chemotherapy-related-fatigue saw an average 31 percent improvement in fatigue levels following 6-8 acupuncture treatments.

Acupuncture – chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

  • In 2012 Acupuncture in Medicine published a small pilot study involving 11 patients which suggested that acupuncture has a positive effect on CIPN (Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy).
  • In 2010 Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion published a study in which 64 patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy were divided into two treatment groups – acupuncture or cobamamide (vitamin B12) injections. Acupuncture was the more effective treatment with a 67 percent success rate compared to 40 percent in the cobamamide group.

Acupuncture – Reduced chemotherapy-related side effects

  • In 2014 the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention published a 45-patient study which showed that acupuncture administered the day prior, the day of, and the day after a chemotherapy treatment was able to reduce pain, nausea, vomiting, insomnia and anxiety.

Honey – AML (Acute myeloid leukemia) Chemotherapy patients

  • In 2016 the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research published a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 107 AML patients who underwent chemotherapy, which found that a combination of 50 grams of honey and 150 grams of tahini consumed 3 timer per day reduced white blood cell count, fever duration and gastrointestinal complications compared to a control group.

Royal Jelly

  • In 2013 the Journal of Pharmacological Sciences published an animal study which found that the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative stress properties of royal jelly were effective in healing oral mucositis (ulcers of the mouth caused by chemotherapy) in hamsters.
  • In 2014 the International Journal of Otolaryngology published a clinical trial in which 13 patients with head and neck cancer were either given royal jelly 3 times per day or assigned to a control group (no treatment). The royal jelly group saw a significant reduction in chemotherapy-induced mucositis compared to the control group.
  • In 2011 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity published an animal study in which royal jelly was effective in reducing oxidative stress and increasing glutathione (antioxidant) levels in the livers of rats treated with the chemotherapy drug, cisplatin.
  • In 2011 World Journal of Urology published an animal study in which the kidney damage in rats caused by the chemotherapy drug, cisplatin was partially reversed by treatment with royal jelly.
  • In 2014 the Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine published an animal study which tested the effects of royal jelly on rats treated with the chemotherapy drug, bleomycin. While the drug caused a significant decline in sperm count, motility, viability and testosterone levels, these effect were mitigated in rats also treated with royal jelly.

Ginseng

  • In 2012 Cell Journal published an animal study which showed that 6 weeks of supplementation with American ginseng protected rats from toxic effects of the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide on sperm quality.
  • In 2015 the Journal of Ginseng Research published an animal study which showed that Korean red ginseng protected mice against damage to the male reproductive system caused by the chemotherapy drug, busulfan.
  • In 2012 the Journal of Ginseng Research published a study involving 30 children who were treated for leukemia and solid cancer with chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation. Compared to a control group of 11 patients, 19 patients who received Korean red ginseng for one year saw a more rapid decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Ginger – Chemotherapy-Related Nausea

  • In 2012 Support Care Cancer published a double-blind trial which tested the effects of a placebo vs three different doses of ginger in 744 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The result was a significant reduction in nausea at all doses when compared to the placebo, with the most effective doses being .5 grams – 1 gram per day.
  • In 2012 the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research published a double-blind clinical trial in which 80 women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy were given 1 gram of ginger or a placebo daily for 6 days, beginning 3 days before the start of chemotherapy. Ginger, accompanied by the routine antiemetic treatment, reduced chemotherapy-induced vomiting significantly more than a placebo.

Guarana – Fatigue associated with chemotherapy

  • In 2011 the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a clinical trial in which 65 breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy were given either a placebo or 50 mg guarana twice daily for 21 days. Compared to the placebo, guarana significantly improved chemotherapy-related fatigue.

Modafinil – Severe chemotherapy-related fatigue

  • In 2010 Cancer published a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 867 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The results showed that 200 mg/day modafinil was effective in reducing fatigue in patients with severe fatigue but not those with mild or moderate fatigue.

Wheatgrass

  • In 2007 Nutrition and Cancer published a study in which 60 breast cancer patients on chemotherapy were given either 60 cc wheatgrass juice daily or assigned to a control group during the first 3 cycles of chemotherapy. Results showed that wheatgrass juice mitigated chemotherapy-related toxicity without diminishing its efficacy. Side effects were minor and included nausea in 6 patients.

Astaxanthin – Cognitive Function

  • In 2015 Physiology and Behavior published an animal study which found that astaxanthin supplementation was able to reduce maze-test times and improve cognitive function in streptozotocin (chemotherapy drug) treated mice by protecting nerve cells against inflammation.

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