An individualized food-based nutrition intervention reduces visceral and total body fat while preserving skeletal muscle mass in breast cancer patients under antineoplastic treatment

Ana Teresa Limon-Miro, Mauro E. Valencia, Veronica Lopez-Teros, Heliodoro Alemán-Mateo, Rosa O. Méndez-Estrada, Bertha I. Pacheco-Moreno, Humberto Astiazaran-Garcia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background & aims: Breast cancer patients (BCP) during treatment often experience an increase in body weight and fat mass, and a decrease in muscle mass known as sarcopenic obesity, affecting their prognosis and quality of life. We aimed to evaluate the effect of a 6-month individualized food-based nutrition intervention program in nonmetastatic BCP body composition during treatment. Methods: This is a pre-post study in recently diagnosed women with invasive ductal/lobular breast carcinoma (clinical stage I-III). The individualized nutrition intervention was based on the dynamic macronutrient meal equivalent menu method (MEM). Dietary plans were developed according to WCRF/AICR guidelines, BCP total energy expenditure, 1.2–1.5 g/kgBW/d of protein intake, 5–9 servings/day of fruits and vegetables, and a caloric restriction (500–1000 kcal/d) when applicable (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2). Follow-up was every 2-weeks and a different diet menu was provided in each session during 6 months. Baseline and final measurements included the assessment of anthropometry, body composition, and physical activity. Results: Twenty-two participants completed the study and at diagnosis 68% were overweighed or obese. After the 6-month nutrition intervention program, BCP lost 3.1 kg (p < 0.01) of body weight, 2.7 kg (p < 0.01) of fat-mass, 400 g (p < 0.01) of abdominal fat, 118 g (p < 0.05) of visceral fat, 1.2 kg/m2 of body mass index and 1.1 kg/m2 of fat mass index (p < 0.01). During the period, no changes were observed in bone mineral density (p = 0.3), fat-free mass (p = 0.1) and appendicular skeletal muscle mass (p = 0.2). Menopausal status in BCP did not modify the effect of the nutrition intervention. Conclusions: The individualized food-based nutrition intervention program empowered BCP to make informed healthy food choices within their personal preferences, socioeconomic and cultural background. With this type of intervention, nonmetastatic BCP reduced body weight, fat-mass, fat mass index, visceral and abdominal fat, while preserving skeletal muscle mass, during antineoplastic treatment. NCT03625635.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4394-4403
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank our volunteers for their valuable time and participation. To CONACYT for the fellowship received by author A.T.L.-M. To the Sonoran Oncology State Center (CEO), the Research Center for Food and Development A.C. (CIAD), and the University of Sonora Navigator Program (PDA) for providing their staff and facilities. Special thanks for the technical support from Orlando Tortoledo and logistics from Paola Othon, Jenny Meraz and Alejandra Lopez. Also, we thank our enthusiastic nutritional sciences undergraduate students: Ilenia Moreno, Ingrid Gutiérrez, Elizabeth Manjarrez, Leticia Yocupicio and Sahily Nuñez, for their supportive teamwork.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism


  • Body composition
  • Fat mass index decrease
  • Oncology nutrition
  • PG-SGA
  • Sarcopenic obesity prevention
  • Visceral adipose tissue


Dive into the research topics of 'An individualized food-based nutrition intervention reduces visceral and total body fat while preserving skeletal muscle mass in breast cancer patients under antineoplastic treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this