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Supplements in the Fight Against Cancer

Many people take vitamins and supplements while they are being treated for cancer; some take them to prevent cancer. Here are tips to help you shop wisely.

Vitamins and Supplements to Fight Cancer

Cancer patients are increasingly turning to supplements to strengthen their immune systems and ease nausea from chemotherapy.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most studied supplements for cancer prevention and treatment right now.
 

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 supplements can help fight fatigue from anemia. Some studies indicate they may help lower the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer, but other studies show no benefit.
 

Antioxidant

Vitamin A , vitamin C, and vitamin E are antioxidants once thought to help prevent cancer. However, more recently studies show that high levels of some antioxidants may increase cases of cancer in some populations.

Fiber (Psyllium)

Dietary fiber may help reduce the risk of colon cancer in some people, although there are conflicting studies. Fiber definitely helps ease constipation, which may be caused by some cancer medicines.
 

Folic Acid

Folic acid helps reduce the toxicity of the cancer drug methotrexate. However, in men, high levels of folic acid may raise the risk of prostate cancer.
 

Iron

Iron supplements can improve the fatigue caused by anemia, which can result from chemotherapy and radiation. 

Information About Vitamins and Supplements  

Do you know how to evaluate vitamins and supplements? There are so many vitamins, supplements, and herbal extracts on the shelves. Use these tips to find out which ones may be right for you.

Safe Upper Limits for Vitamins and Minerals 

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, how much should you take? Find out the safe upper limits for the vitamins you take, as well as the recommended daily allowance you may need.

Vitamin and Supplement Glossary: Common Definitions 

This glossary provides simple definitions for common terms such as antioxidants, fat soluble, or phytochemicals. Find out what the lingo really means.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on May 05, 2012

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