Effects of zinc supplementation on fatigue and quality of life in patients with colorectal cancer

<div><p>ABSTRACT Objective To investigate the effects of oral zinc supplementation on fatigue intensity and quality of life of patients during chemotherapy for colorectal cancer. Methods A prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 24 patients on chemotherapy for colorectal adenocarcinoma in a tertiary care public hospital. The study patients received zinc capsules 35mg (Zinc Group, n=10) or placebo (Placebo Group, n=14) orally, twice daily (70mg/day), for 16 weeks, from the immediate postoperative period to the fourth chemotherapy cycle. Approximately 45 days after surgical resection of the tumor, all patients received a chemotherapeutic regimen. Before each of the four cycles of chemotherapy, the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue scale was completed. We used a linear mixed model for longitudinal data for statistical analysis. Results The scores of quality of life and fatigue questionnaires were similar between the groups during the chemotherapy cycles. The Placebo Group presented worsening of quality of life and increased fatigue between the first and fourth cycles of chemotherapy, but there were no changes in the scores of quality of life or fatigue in the Zinc Group. Conclusion Zinc supplementation prevented fatigue and maintained quality of life of patients with colorectal cancer on chemotherapy.</p></div>