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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.
 

Antioxidant

Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E , and beta-carotene contain antioxidants once thought to help prevent cancer. However, more recent studies show that high levels of these, in supplement form, may increase cases of gastrointestinal cancers, such as stomach, colon, and esophageal, in some populations. However, eating foods that contain these vitamins reduces the risk of many kinds of cancer.

Fiber (Psyllium)

Dietary fiber 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 iron-deficiency 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 June 06, 2014

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