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Wine as An apetite Stimulant!


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PEORIA -- Cancer patients going through chemotherapy often lose their appetite and lose weight, which can make them weaker as treatment continues. Many have argued for more use of medicinal marijuana to increase appetite, but another study shows an alternative that's cheap, readily available and legal.

"Originally started two years ago with colon cancer." Sixty-four year old Jim Colgan, is a cancer patient at the Illinois Cancer Center in Peoria. After being diagnosed, doctors removed a tumor, then Colgan underwent chemotherapy and radiation, but that wasn't the end of it.

Colgan says, "This spring I came in for my check up and they found I had a spot on my lung and my liver." With that diagnosis came another round of chemo, which began to take it's toll. Colgan says it made him lose his appetite and taste for food. As a result, Colgan lost 16 pounds in just two months, making him a candidate for a Mayo Clinic study on white wine and how it can increase appetite for patients going through chemo. Colgan says it was worth a try, "Before I tried all these protein drinks and none of them did anything for me."

Kollet Koulianos from the Illinois Cancer Center, says, "If our patients have lost five pounds or greater within a two month period, they would potentially qualify to be in the study."

Peoria is one of five sites nationwide chosen by the Mayo Clinic for a study that started in November. The goal is to get 148 participants, nationwide. So far there are 13, 10 of them are in Peoria. The study includes three groups. One group of chemo patients drink white wine, and the other two are drinking Boost and Ensure. Boost and Ensure are what doctors currently recommend to patients with appetite loss.

Koulianos says, "If they agree to participate and meet the criteria, they receive a $200 check and purchase the wine themselves. They can get any kind they want and try different kinds."

Colgan says the study worked wonders for him, he gained nine pounds in just one month. "Right now I'm good. I do a three month check up in March, no chemo treatments at the present time. Hopefully that'll be good and I'll never see a chemo treatment again."

This is the bright outlook he was able to gain one pound at a time.

Other criteria for the study, besides increased weight loss, is patients must be in the advanced stages of an invasive cancer. The study is ongoing, results will be released as soon as all 148 patients have been recruited and monitored for change.

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