A randomized parallel-group dietary study for stages II–IV ovarian cancer survivors

Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Publishing in the March 2012 issue of the Gynecologic Oncology Journal.



Few studies have examined the dietary habits of ovarian cancer survivors. Therefore, we conducted a study to assess the feasibility and impact of two dietary interventions for ovarian cancer survivors.


In this randomized, parallel-group study, 51 women (mean age, 53 years) diagnosed with stages II–IV ovarian cancer were recruited and randomly assigned to a low fat, high fiber (LFHF) diet or a modified National Cancer Institute diet supplemented with a soy-based beverage (Juice Plus+ Complete) and encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrates (Juice Plus+ Orchard and Garden Blends). Changes in clinical measures, serum carotenoid and tocopherol levels, dietary intake, anthropometry, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) were assessed with paired t-tests.


The recruitment rate was 25%, and the retention rate was 75% at 6 months. At baseline, 28% and 45% of women met guidelines for intake of fiber and of fruits and vegetables, respectively. After 6 months, total serum carotenoid levels and α- and β-carotene concentrations were significantly increased in both groups (P < 0.01); however, β-carotene concentrations were increased more in the FVJC group. Serum β-cryptoxanthin levels, fiber intake (+ 5.2 g/day), and daily servings of juice (+ 0.9 servings/day) and vegetables (+ 1.3 servings/day) were all significantly increased in the LFHF group (all P < 0.05). Serum levels of albumin, lutein and zeaxanthin, retinol, and retinyl palmitate were significantly increased in the FVJC group (all P < 0.05). No changes in cancer antigen-125, anthropometry, or HRQOL were observed.


Overall, this study supports the feasibility of designing dietary interventions for stages II–IV ovarian cancer survivors and provides preliminary evidence that a low fat high fiber diet and a diet supplemented with encapsulated FVJC may increase phytonutrients in ovarian cancer survivors.


  • Many ovarian cancer survivors fail to meet current guidelines for dietary intake.
  • A low-fat diet supplemented with encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrates can improve carotenoid levels.
  • Encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrates (Juice Plus+) may help bridge the gap between what is consumed and what is needed.

This is one of more than 30 Juice Plus+ studies to be published and clearly demonstrates the nutritional benefits of adding Juice Plus+ capsules and the Juice Plus+ Complete whole-food based drink mix to a healthy diet for ovarian cancer patients.