Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on June 02, 2012


Julie Silver, MD. Medical Dir, Outpatient Center Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

© 2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

Video Transcript

Narrator: What supplements can I take during and after cancer treatment?

Julie Silver, MD: Supplements are very controversial in cancer treatment. Chemotherapy usually works by oxidative pathways. And so it may be that supplements can interfere with some of the cancer-fighting drugs that you're taking. So that's really important to understand, that we don't know the answer to that, but that many doctors are extremely concerned when their patients take antioxidants during chemotherapy because they don't want these supplements to lessen the effects of the chemotherapy.

Julie Silver, MD (cont.): What I tell my patients is to take a single multivitamin with some additional calcium and vitamin D, depending on their age and what their bones are like and if they're men or women, and all kinds of different things, but some additional calcium and vitamin D. But a single multivitamin that doesn't have megadoses is ideal. If you're concerned about constipation, you can take one that's low in iron, and those are usually labeled as "senior" types, or geriatric multivitamins.