A randomized parallel-group dietary study for stages II-IV ovarian cancer survivors.

Paxton RJ, Garcia-Prieto C, Berglund M, Hernandez M, Hajek RA, Handy B, Brown J, Jones LA; Nov. 2011


Ovarian cancer is linked to a high-fat, high-glycemic index diet. Soy may mitigate the risk.


The aim of this study was twofold: First, to examine the feasibility of a telephone-based dietary intervention for post-treatment ovarian cancer survivors, and second, to investigate the impact of two different dietary interventions to determine if they could improve the participants’ serum micronutrients concentrations and some other measures of health, like health-related quality of life (HRQOL).


In this randomized, parallel-group study, 51 ovarian cancer survivors (average age 53) were randomly assigned to eat either a low-fat, high-fiber (LFHF) diet or a modified National Cancer Institute diet supplemented with a soy-based beverage (Juice Plus+® Complete) and 4 capsules per day of an encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate (FV; Juice Plus+®) for 6 months. At the study’s end, blood levels of various carotenoids and vitamins were measured.  


At baseline, only 28% of participants met recommendations for fiber intake and only 45% did so for fruits and vegetables, indicating poor diet quality. After 6 months of intervention, overall carotenoids, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene were significantly increased in both groups compared to baseline. However, the FV group saw a higher increase in beta-carotene concentrations than the LFHF group. The FV group also experienced significant increases in albumin, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and two forms of vitamin A (retinol and retinyl palmitate) compared to the LFHF group. No significant changes were observed in HRQOL or anthropometry between the groups. The LFHF group had significantly increased juice consumption compared to the FV group.


In conclusion, this study provided evidence that a short-term dietary intervention emphasizing encapsulated FVs, a soy-based beverage, or a low-fat and high fiber diet is safe and feasible for stages II to IV ovarian cancer survivors. These dietary models may increase phytonutrients in ovarian cancer survivors.

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