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no antioxidant supplements with chemo?

Guest a.

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My Dad started chemo (cisplatin and VP-16) a few weeks ago for SCLC (lung, with mets to liver.) The doctors advised him not to take any antioxidant supplements during his chemotherapy - some chemos work by producing free radicals to kill off the cancer cells, and antioxidants kill free radicals. According to the doctors, taking antioxidants during chemo may decrease side effects, but it will also interfere with the chemo itself. Does anyone know anything about this?



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I was told the same thing by my chemo onc. If I recall correctly when I asked my chemo onc about vitamins and supplements, he said "that chemo is supposed to fight the cancer cells, as do antioxidants. The chemo becomes less effective when taking the antioxidants. It would be counterproductive." I don't know if that helped.


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Dave's oncology nurse told him the same thing. She told him not to load up on too many antioxidants because chemo is an oxidant, so the vitamins may interfere with the chemo, but did recommend that he take Centrum Silver (or something comparable) vitamins.

Now that he's off chemo we're trying to power up on antioxidants, mostly through healthy eating, but I also got an "immunopower" vitamin at the natural foods store for us both to take.

Hope that helps.

Karen C.

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