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Multivitamins May Make Chemo Easier


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Multivitamins May Make Chemo Easier

Taking a multivitamin or extra vitamin E during chemotherapy may help prevent some of the immune system declines that can occur as a chemo side effect, according to results of a small study. Researchers collected information from 49 women being treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer. They found that the women who took either multivitamins or vitamin E alone showed smaller decreases in white blood cells (called neutrophils) that battle bacterial infections. Declines in these cells are a common side effect of chemotherapy. Another supplement, folic acid, was associated with a sharper decline in neutrophils, suggesting that it should be avoided during chemo, said the study author. The optimal use of supplements and antioxidants during chemotherapy is still a topic of investigation. Results were published in the September 2004 issue of the journal Cancer.

Source: Cancer, September 2004

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