A Narrative Review on the Potential of Red Beetroot as an Adjuvant Strategy to Counter Fatigue in Children with Cancer
Department of Pediatrics-Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030-4009, USA
Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, The University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-1124, USA
Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-1137, USA
Department of Biostatistics and Data Science, The University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health, 1200 Pressler St., Houston, TX 77030, USA
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK
School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle NE2 4HH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3003; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123003
Received: 15 October 2019 / Revised: 4 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 December 2019 / Published: 7 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Important Aspects of Nutrition in Children with Cancer)
Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a debilitating adverse effect among children with cancer and a significant barrier to physical activity (PA) participation. PA interventions are effective at reducing fatigue and improving both quality of life (QOL) and functional outcomes in children with cancer. However, 50–70% of children with cancer do not meet PA guidelines. Thus, adjuvant methods are needed to increase PA participation. Given the growing interest in the use of beetroot juice to reduce exercise-induced fatigue, our narrative review evaluated the potential use of beetroot to improve PA participation to counter CRF and improve QOL. Our review of 249 articles showed a lack of published clinical trials of beetroot in children and adults with cancer. Trials of beetroot use had been conducted in a noncancer population (n = 198), and anticancer studies were primarily in the preclinical phase (n = 40). Although results are promising, with beetroot juice shown to counter exercise-induced fatigue in a variety of athletic and patient populations, its use to counter CRF in children with cancer is inconclusive. Pilot and feasibility studies are needed to examine the potential benefits of beetroot to counter CRF, increase PA participation, and improve QOL in children with cancer.