• Nutritional Therapy and Chemotherapy

    Asked by Mfausset1 on Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Nutritional Therapy and Chemotherapy

    Most likely this question will be quite debatable, but I'd like opinions from anyone that has them! What are your thoughts on nutritional therapies during chemotherapy (specifically the use of antioxidants, etc.) I have heard from some in the medical field that claim it's not good to do as the antioxidants can protect the cancer cells, but many others and lots of research prove the antioxidants to be beneficial during treatments? I understand that chemo is necessary, however, I also tend to believe there has to be some truth to natural methods as well, and I'd just like to know I am doing all that I can to kick the "big C's" XXX! Thanks!

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Most people here will tell you to talk to your Dr before any diet changesl When I started chemo Iasked my Oncologist if I should try some of the health foods. His response was that "cancer cells like to get healthy too". Some chemos may do better with supplements than others. Good luck and let us know how it goes

      almost 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      The purpose of chemo is to kill cells. The purpose of anti-oxidants is to protect cells. Conflict of interest here. I'd be interested in any research that proves anti-oxidants to be beneficial in conjunction with chemotherapy. Eating a balanced diet is always a good thing but it isn't going cure cancer.

      almost 8 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      Here is a link to a series of talks on that subject. The speaker is an Integrative Medicine MD at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and is very supportive of the use of supplements et al at the right times, but warns against anti-oxidants during chemo and radiation therapies. It's worth spending the hour to listen to her talks. She strongly recommends against things like green tea and high levels of antioxidants in the diet during treatment.

      She is now one of my drs, and as I am no longer in treatment, she has me on Super Coriolus (Maitake Mushroom), Milk thistle, high levels of vitamin D3 (she is tracking my blood levels and I require it.)


      almost 8 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      I would focus on eating a healthy diet, and leave the supplements until after standard therapy if it's something you want to try, unless you have a specific scientific study on how it compliments therapy that you can ask the doctor about. Your diet is more important than any pill. I would however look into vitamin D, because that's not readily available in the diet in significant quantities. That's the one your body makes when exposed to sunshine during times of the year when you receive plenty of direct sunlight at your location.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      Just concentrate on eating a healthy balanced diet. Most of us could probably use a more healthy diet so improving it is always a good idea. Special "cancer diets" generally range from it can't hurt to it will damage your financial health to something that is positively hazardous. But, it never hurts to cut back on your meat consumption and eat more veggies.

      almost 8 years ago
    • polgara's Avatar

      After doing numerous research I decided with my onc's blessing to juice and change my diet. I also take liquid tumeric and siberien ginseng. Along with that my vd3, multi v, fish oil and flax. To protect my heart I take CoQ10. I am cutting out processed sugar from my diet. With that said my first round of chemo wrecked my appeitite so on the weeks I had chemo I ate what I wanted. Now that I am Taxol, and feel good I am concertrating on my diet. I received two great cookbooks that breakdown the cancer fighting goodness of the food in each recipe. They are Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, and The cancer fighting Kitchen. I completely agree that you should do everything to kick cancer in a-r-s-e! Good Luck! Ps.Sorry for the spelling errors, it's late and I'm tired.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Mfausset1's Avatar

      Thank you all for your responses! Very helpful.. Just a quick update, I talked to my doctors- and she also directed me to consult with the naturopath associated with our hospital who is an expert in the field about this matter. Both of them claim that antioxidants prove to be very beneficial during treatment, if that is something I am willing to do. Specifically the supplement we talked about was curcumin, which many studies (from Mayo Clinic, NIH, etc.) show not only to have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects, but can also help chemo be more effective. (I don't know about you all- but if we have to go thru this chemo BS, I am all about making it as effective as possible the first time around.) Granted, one thing I have learned quickly in this battle is that all cancers are different, as well as all treatment plans for patients differ greatly, so I am not claiming this is the case for ALL situations, but at least for my situation I know how to proceed.

      Also- for those of you that suggest healthy eating...you are absolutely right! I was a fairly healthy eater prior to my diagnosis, and now I try to eat as healthy as physically possible (I have a few limitations thanks to a screwy re-routed digestive system. ugh.) But all health benefits aside, I feel better overall then when I had to eat a carb loaded diet after surgery. I strongly support and believe the idea of "you are what you eat!"

      almost 8 years ago

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