If a little is good for you, a lot is better. Right? Not when it comes to vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements during cancer treatment.
Many patients consider taking dietary supplements such as high-dose vitamins, often at the urging of family or friends. Those patients who take supplements often enjoy a sense of increased control over their health. Unfortunately, this sense of control is an illusion.
The problem during cancer treatment is that such supplements may diminish the effectiveness and/or increase the toxicity of anti-cancer therapies.
The Guidelines' conclusion:
With compelling evidence against the use of select supplements in certain oncology populations, health care professionals and survivors need to proceed with caution. If interested in supplementation, individuals should first assess whether they are nutrient deficient, avoid ingesting supplements that exceed more than 100% of the Daily Value, and consider limiting dietary supplement use to therapeutic interventions for chronic conditions such as osteoporosis and macular degeneration, for which scientific evidence supports the likelihood of benefits and low risk of harm.
As a Healthy Survivor, first do no harm. If interested in taking dietary supplements, first talk with your physicians about the risks and benefits for you before making a final decision. If you decide to take supplements against your physicians' advice, let your physicians know -- a task much easier said than done.