A new study (free to download) examined the relationship between chemotherapy, changes in taste sensation, and changes in food/nutrient intake. For this study, researchers tested the ability of cancer patients (including some breast cancer patients) to taste three different flavors (sweet, bitter, novel) after their second round of chemotherapy and compared their results to individuals without cancer. The study investigators found that:
- Compared to control subjects, cancer patients required higher flavor doses before they could recognize bitter or sweet flavors.
- Patients who required a sweet dose higher than the group average consumed about 500 fewer total calories, less protein, less carbohydrate, and less zinc.
- Cancer patients who needed a higher than average bitter dose consumed fewer total calories (~600 fewer calories), less protein, less carbohydrates, and less fat compared to patients who recognized the bitter flavor at a lower level.
- Compared to patients with normal taste thresholds, cancer patients requiring high doses of bitter and sweet were less likely to consume their daily energy requirements.
- 100% of cancer patients with a higher than average bitter taste threshold experienced weight loss.
Maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating cancer fighting foods into this healthy diet can be important for all of us in order to reduce breast cancer risk. To learn more about some of my favorite cancer fighting foods, read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at www.fightBCnow.com.