Paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy is the most important side effect limiting the use of this medication. This study aimed to compare the effects of omega-3 and vitamin E on the incidence of peripheral neuropathy in patients receiving Taxol.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, are unsaturated fatty acids present in phospholipid membranes of cells, including central and peripheral nervous system cells. They have very beneficial effects in some psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

They play a decisive role in the biophysical properties of neuronal membranes and modulate the signal transduction by effects on ion channels and receptor function. In addition, the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines that because neuropathy is reduced by these fatty acids, especially DHA.

Anti-inflammatory cytokines

DHA-linked myelogenesis has been proven in recent studies. Vitamin E is widely used to prevent diseases caused by oxidative stress. Its vital effects on neuronal function have been indicated in many diseases of vitamin E deficiency and central and peripheral nervous system manifestations. Studies have shown that neuropathic effects of cisplatin may have neuroprotective effects.

Another study found that vitamin E was effectively and safely protected against neuropathy in cancer patients treated with taxol. Most side effects of chemotherapy are eliminated after treatment discontinuation, but peripheral neuropathy may be somewhat reversible or irreversible in some patients, which can have adverse effects on the patient’s quality of life.

Therefore, this study aimed to compare the effect of omega-3 and vitamin E on the incidence of peripheral neuropathy in taxol recipients. Researchers demonstrated that vitamin E did not change the incidence of neuropathy in these patients.

In a meta-analysis study published by Eum and colleagues, it has been shown that daily intake of 600-300 mg of vitamin E has significant effects on the reduction of neuropathy induced by chemotherapy.

On the other hand, there are studies that violate the positive effects of this vitamin in improving neuropathy. Huang et al., in a meta-analysis study, believed that vitamin E could not reduce the incidence of CIPN. They also said that a large sample size is needed to prove the effectiveness of this vitamin.

In conclusion, taken together, our findings suggest that the use of food supplements such as vitamin E and omega-3s may significantly reduce the paclitaxel-induced neuropathy. The routine use of such supplements, which do not add to certain side effects for patients undergoing chemotherapy, can greatly increase their quality of life.