International Health News

Supplements and cancer treatment

LAWRENCEVILLE, NEW JERSEY. Many doctors believe that vitamins and mineral supplements interfere with radiation and chemotherapy and advise their patients not to take them during their treatment. Dr. Charles B. Simone, MD, author of "Cancer & Nutrition" has just released a report providing convincing evidence that supplements do not interfere with either radiation or chemotherapy and may actually, in many cases, enhance the tumor-killing effects of these treatments. Many studies have shown that vitamins A, C, and E as well as beta-carotene and selenium protect against adriamycin's toxic effects on the heart and, at the same time, enhance its cancer-killing effects. Vitamin-E (1600 IU/day) has been found to significantly reduce hair loss in patients receiving chemotherapy. Vitamin-B6 (300 mg/day) has been found to decrease the toxic side effects of radiation therapy while vitamin-K has been found to improve the results from chemotherapy. Drs. Hoffer and Pauling found that cancer patients who supplemented with large doses of vitamins A, C, and E as well as niacin and other vitamins and minerals while undergoing conventional treatments lived far longer than patients not taking supplements. Eating a macrobiotic diet has been found highly effective in increasing survival among patients with cancer of the prostate and pancreas. Supplementation can also decrease the risk of tumor recurrence. A recent experiment involving bladder cancer patients showed that those who took extra daily supplements (40,000 IU vitamin-A, 100 mg vitamin-B6, 2000 mg vitamin-C, 400 IU vitamin-E and 90 mg zinc) reduced their risk of recurrence by a factor of two. Dr. Simone concludes that vitamin and mineral supplementation does not interfere with the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but actually, in many cases, increases survival of the patients. He recommends that supplements be taken 30-60 minutes before therapy. (131 references)
Simone, Charles B., et al. Nutritional and lifestyle modification to augment oncology care: an overview. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Vol. 12, No. 4, Fourth Quarter, 1997, pp. 197-206

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