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Supplements & Chemo


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Since I'm back on treatment, I'm trying to decide what to do with my supplement regimen.

I know the use of antioxidants is controversial during chemo so I'm only taking those that are in my multivitamin. Has anyone heard about other types of supplements that should be limited during chemo? or how about ones that should be added or increased during chemo?

I really want to do anything I can to help this chemo kick the cancer's butt!!

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Here are a few chemo and supplements combinations that should be avoided. Talk to your Dr and or Pharmacist (may help).

Also read the info on the specific chemo you are taking. It will might list specific herbs, but it will also give info on warnings (things to look out for)

1) CPT-11 and St John's Wort

2) Ginger (maybe other blood thinners at least in excess) and chemo. I think some chemos are more prone to causing low platelets than others (I think docetaxel is one)

3) black cohash and doxorubicin and docetaxel (may make them more toxic)


http://www.asco.org/ac/1,1003,_12-00212 ... 001,00.asp

http://patient.cancerconsultants.com/ca ... x?id=17521

http://patient.cancerconsultants.com/ho ... x?id=17437

Ginger (Zingiber officinaie) Claims: said to have positive inotropic effects on heart tissue, to be useful in the treatment of arthritis, as well as motion sickness and nausea. Conclusions: Shown to be effective in the treatment of motion sickness and nausea. Shown to be an effective antiinflammatory chemical proving to have some benefit in the treatment of arthritis. Still being studied for positive effects on the heart. adult dose varies. Precautions: Inhibits chemcials that are involved in platlet aggregation so can lead to increased bleeding or prolonged bleeding time. Not for use in pregnancy. Do not use in chemotherapy or after surgery because of bleeding problems.


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My herbologist didn't really think antioxidants would be a problem with my chemo, but he said since the verdict is still out on that one, he rather be safe than sorry, so he took me off all antioxidants. He put me on another protocol of his (a "chemo support system"). I don't remember what it consisted of, as I was very new to integrative care then. You may want to call him up and see if he could put you on it (via telephone). Unfortunately, insurance doesn't cover his phone consultations, only his doctor office visits. His website is www.meridianmedical.org.

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There is a school of thought that chemo is inhibited by antioxidant use. It is contraversial but it would seem that no one believes that the amount we eat in a healthy diet can harm us. My oncologist allows a multivitamin and then I eat many varied vegetables (of course my blood count is not at issue - IF YOUR HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOUR BLOOD COUNT CERTAIN VEGETABLES ARE TO BE AVOIDED... CHECK WITH YOUR MEDICAL TEAM). I eat many colored bell peppers, carrots, dark lettuce, cabbage, brocooli, brussel sprouts, ... you get the idea. I drink green tea. I try to incorporate vitamins and minerals and antioxidants through diet instead of supplements.

Of course, if and when treatment ends I will go back to supplements and a healthy diet!

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My mother has adeno carninoma and takes supplements. We see a natural oncologist who also works in with main stream chemo.

We are taking

-Transfer factor which I am not sure you get over there but is very good.

- Co enzyme 10 - which enhances metabolic function

of cells - helps when you energy is low

- digestive enzymes - as chemo strip these -

- vitamin C

Seems alot but all helps- hope this helps - you may have natural oncologists there also.

Good luck with finding someone and the chemo

best wishes

Jody C Auckland New Zealand

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