RandyW Posted April 6, 2009 Share Posted April 6, 2009 SPRINGFIELD -- Nena Malen is undergoing her 13th round of chemotherapy in her battle to fight lung cancer. "I was diagnosed in July," said Malen. Malen considers herself lucky, not having many side effects from the chemo except for one that's very noticeable. "The main thing is just loss of appetite and food having little taste; everything pretty much tastes the same," said Malen. A nutritionist at St. John's Hospital says dulled taste buds are a problem for many patients undergoing chemo. Once flavorful foods taste metallic and become repulsive. "You have no desire to eat. Pizza doesn't really have a flavor; it's just bland," Malen said. Loss of taste makes it easy to lose weight, in some cases causing malnutrition. "They're not eating as well and that can be difficult for their treatment to continue or be effective," said nutritionist Connie Rizzo. So nutritionists look for ways to trick the taste buds. "Sometimes a tool we use are some liquid nutrition supplements," said Rizzo. But researchers are looking at another possibility with a promising name. The miracle fruit is bright red and pretty tiny. When you rub the small fruit on your tongue it alters your taste buds so, for the next 30 minutes, sour things like lemons and limes taste sweet. "We haven't used the miracle fruit here at St. Johns mainly because it's not as widely available and at this point hasn't been clinically tried," said Rizzo. Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami is studying the fruit. Results could take several years. "It will be interesting to see what the clinical trial comes with," said Rizzo. If approved, the tiny fruit could help cancer patients like Malen enjoy their favorite foods once again. "I could see where it would be beneficial to a lot of patients to have something that would make food taste," said Malen. ---- Editor's note: The product shown in this report is Miracle Frooties. The box lists ingredients as dried Miracle Fruit pulp, potato starch, microcrystalline cellulose, calcium phosphate, dibasic, and magnesium stearate. It's produced by Genovate Biotechnology Co., Ltd. Its Web site is www.miraclefrooties.com. View Oldest Comments First Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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