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Obesity is strongly associated with the development of breast cancer, resistance to treatment, and poor survival outcomes. Women with higher body mass indexes (BMIs) tend to have increased accumulation of free fatty acids in the liver and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance activates the production of insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which in turn can promote cancer cell growth and proliferation.

Patients who are critically ill have low plasma levels of ascorbic acid. What’s more, low plasma ascorbic acid correlates with a higher risk of multiple organ failure. Therefore, both animal and human studies have explored the effects of ascorbic acid administration during critical illness.

The hormonal changes of menopause modify the levels of noradrenaline and serotonin in the brain and can contribute to some of the classic symptoms of depression. Women can experience irritability, melancholy, and emotional lability. In addition to hormonal changes, other factors that may influence depression risk include nutrient deficiencies or decreases in circulating antioxidants.

Antidepressant medications are routinely prescribed for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that were published in 2017 showed that 1 in 8 people over the age of 12 in the United States had taken antidepressants during the previous month. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants and a first-line treatment for depression.

Locally advanced lung cancer often requires sequential or concurrent chemoradiotherapy. This combination therapy can cause severe side effects that prolong or interrupt the treatment. One of the most common side effects of chemoradiotherapy in patients with lung cancer is acute radiation-induced esophagitis (ARIE). Symptoms of ARIE include pain, dysphagia, nausea, and anorexia. Severe ARIE can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, and weight loss. 

Whether fiber helps or hinders bone health is a subject of debate. Some professional guidelines for osteoporosis advise against the consumption of fiber because of its potential to interfere with calcium absorption. On the other hand, there is a plausible mechanism to suggest that fiber might actually facilitate calcium absorption by producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and expanding the intestinal lumen for a larger absorptive surface.

Peppermint oil (Mentha piperita) potentially targets multiple aspects of the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). L-menthol in peppermint oil blocks calcium channels in smooth muscle to exert an antispasmodic effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Peppermint oil also has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulating effects.

A higher intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and all-cause mortality. Many of the benefits of fruits and vegetables are attributable to the flavonoids they contain. Flavonoids are known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that benefit overall health.

Cordyceps sinensis is a rare fungus that grows in high-latitude areas of China. Cordyceps has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have used cordyceps for lung conditions for centuries. Modern capsule preparations of cordyceps in China include Jin Shui Bao and Bai Ling. These products are commonly used to support patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Despite medical advancements, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting remain some of the worst side effects of cancer therapy. Not only is it uncomfortable for the patient, but it can also contribute to malnourishment and electrolyte imbalance. Severe nausea and vomiting may necessitate a reduction in chemotherapy dosage and compromise the efficacy of treatment.

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