Vitamins to take during chemo?


Question from Marie: What vitamins should I take or not take during chemotherapy?
Answers - Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D. There is not a lot of data available about which vitamins are good and which vitamins are not good to take during chemotherapy. Most physicians and researchers suggest taking a multivitamin pill, but NOT taking excessive amounts of any vitamin or supplement. There is even some suggestion that certain vitamins, including folate, when taken in excess, may counteract the effects of some chemotherapy drugs. So the best strategy is to consume a diet that's as healthful as possible, including lots of vegetables and fruit. And if you really want to take a vitamin, take a multivitamin.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. This is also true during radiation therapy. Most radiation oncologists suggest that their patients avoid taking antioxidant vitamins in supplemental form. If you take concentrated amounts of these agents, it's possible that they may interfere with the effectiveness of the radiation.
Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D. The American Cancer Society is updating its recommendations for nutrition, supplements, and physical activity. The new recommendations will be available in the fall.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. You can read about their current recommendations here.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2003, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Taking Care of Yourself. Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about exercise and nutrition, and other things you can do to nurture your body, along with strategies for finding emotional support, boosting your mood, and feeling good again.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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