Are there certain Vitamins to avoid during Cancer Treatments?

A cancer cell originates from a normal cell with genetic changes that occur over time. At first, it simply develops genetic changes that allow it to become dysplastic (a pre-cancer cell) and needs other genetic changes to survive (be immortalized) outside its intended site of origin and able to obtain its own nutrition, too often relying on our own nutrients/energy/calories. This requires significant further mutations or rearrangements in a cancer cell genome.

Fortunately, by definition, it’s a very abnormal cell and does not tolerate highly damaging doses of radiation or cytotoxic (cell killing) drugs like chemotherapy. Chemotherapy interrupts or essentially kills the cancer cell and fortunately leads to high cure rates in Hodgins Lymphoma, Testicular Cancer, Acute Leukemia as well as significant improved cures in life-threatening Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma… to name just a few examples. Knowing that cancer cells can be killed and we are curing cancers with radiation and chemotherapy, this should lead to an obvious question.

When it comes to vitamins, are there certain vitamins we should avoid during cancer treatments?

Fortunately, there are well conducted research studies and published articles clearly suggesting specific vitamins should be avoided with cancer treatments 4. These vitamins mitigate oxidative stressors and likely circumvent the killing of cancer cells with radiation, chemotherapy. In simple terms, we should want a very abnormal cell (cancer cell) to be killed. It needs to be gone, out of us.

There continues to be extensive research into the preventative value of these ‘oxidative vitamins’ though at present current research questions the role of these vitamins even in the preventative setting 1,3,5 . If treating cancer or if having prior cancer and possibly in the future needing cancer treatments again, it is strongly suggested we avoid these types of vitamins.

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