Gastrointestinal issues are among the most common side effects of cancer treatment. They often lead to (or add to) loss of appetite, which in turn can spiral into weight loss, dehydration and fatigue. It’s a dilemma all too familiar to patients undergoing treatment for cancer: You may not feel like eating, but you need good nutrition to keep your strength up, now more than ever.

Many patients and healthcare providers turn to liquid nutritional supplements, and it’s easy to see why. They’re dense in calories. They’re easier to tolerate. They have clever marketing and they look, on the face of things, like an ideal fix. But if you take a closer look, you’ll find that sugar is one of the main ingredients and there is a lot of emerging scientific data that speaks to how sugar can negatively impact a person’s body.

It’s important to be aware that products marketed as “healthy” can sometimes be anything but, especially if they have a high sugar content. As Dr. Dave Lieberman writes in the New York Times[1], “As a physician, I need to be able to offer more wholesome and therapeutic options to my patients than what amount to synthetic sugary shakes.”

Sugar Is Not Your Friend

Numerous studies have linked beverages with refined sugars to serious conditions including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease – even Alzheimer’s. A recent study, published in the journal Diabetologia[2], found that people with high blood sugar had a faster rate of cognitive decline, setting them on the path to Alzheimer’s.

Sugar is an especially bad idea if you’re trying to manage the GI side effects of cancer treatment and get the nutrients you need. In the compromised gut of a patient being treated for cancer, sugar is especially detrimental. It lowers your ability to absorb nutrients, and can worsen diarrhea and dehydration. This is because it both stimulates chloride secretion and weakens gut barrier function.

How enterade® Is Different

enterade® Advanced Oncology Formula is sugar-free. Unlike sugary drinks, its amino acid-based formulations provide the nutrients needed to rebuild and protect the GI tract and support your ability to absorb nutrients and electrolytes. enterade® Advanced Oncology Formula focuses specifically on the unique digestive, nutritional and hydration-related needs of cancer patients.

Find out more about why enterade® uses amino acids instead of glucose, a form of sugar.


[1] Lieberman, Dave. “Sugary Shakes in the Hospital Aren’t Good Medicine.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Jan. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/well/live/sugary-shakes-hospital-doctors-patients-nutrition-boost-ensure.html.

[2] Khazan, Olga. “The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 26 Jan. 2018, www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/01/the-startling-link-between-sugar-and-alzheimers/551528/

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