Nutritional Supplements Drinks after Radiation

OncoLink
Last Modified: June 8, 2012

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Question

My husband has trouble with thick secretions after radiation, but also we are trying to maintain his weight. People had suggested Boost, but I am worried that" a milk-like product" will only make things thicker. Are there other options?

Answer

Valaree Williams MS RD LDN, Clinical Dietitian Specialist, Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn Medicine, responds:

Products such as Boost and Ensure can be helpful in supplementing the diet with additional calories and protein for weight gain. The idea that milk products increase mucous production is a common myth but not well supported by the literature. If you would like to try non-milky consistency products, you could try Ensure clear (previously known as Ensure Enlive!) or resource breeze. These are both juice based products with additional calories and protein; both can be ordered online or Resource Breeze is often available at Walgreen's.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Head and Neck Cancer Q&A Webchat transcript.



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