Pass it on: Today's top taste-bud tip for chemo patients
A daily lactoferrin supplement may help alleviate a common chemotherapy side effect, the nasty metallic taste experienced by many patients, a study shows.
Taking supplements containing the protein, found in milk and saliva, changes saliva protein profiles in a way that helps to protect taste buds, the researchers say.
In their study, 19 cancer patients with established taste and smell abnormalities owing to chemotherapy, and an additional 12 healthy subjects, took lactoferrin supplements, at a dose of three 250mg tablets per day for 30 days.
Saliva was collected three times during the study: at baseline, at 30 days of supplementation and 30 days after supplementation. The salivary proteome and minerals were tested.
"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