Is it OK to take a multivitamin while on chemotherapy?

Is it OK to take a multivitamin while on chemotherapy?

It is common for cancer doctors and treatment nurses to tell you that while on chemotherapy you should not take vitamins. Other cancer centers say we do not have an answer, yet, suggesting you can avoid vitamins or take them. Obviously this is not very helpful.

Sounds ironic, as cancer treatments follow national guidelines based on high level science meaning randomized controlled trials because of: a cancer treatments high cost, reimbursement demands, and most important, the proven benefits.

Does research also exist for specific vitamins and potential drug or treatment interactions?

Overall, the answer is yes. Avoid the vitamins that are recognized to likely interfere with chemotherapy or cancer treatment drugs. Unfortunately, most cancer centers have to focus on diagnostic tests, cancer treatment choices and have not reviewed the vitamin literature in depth or believe too many questions remain. In addition, with a multivitamin you are addressing many different ingredients (vitamins). Part of the struggle for cancer centers is they often do not differentiate between blinded randomized controlled studies (phase III trials) that are considered confirmatory and observational studies. Note this recently was addressed with vitamin B12 where randomized controlled trials do exist, confirming this vitamin is likely safe in cancer patients but is confused with recently addressed observational studies that suggest otherwise. Therefore another RCT should be done, and in the works at 4CancerWellness. Currently based on blind randomized controlled studies, B12 seems safe noting it supports the wellbeing of cancer patients, diabetics, those with stomach issues including prior gastric bypass or older individuals (common with cancer).

TO REITERATE…

Is it OK to take a multivitamin while on chemotherapy? Actually, likely depends. Many cancer centers and some fairly prominent universities would say, no. But when your multivitamin avoids the vitamins that would interfere with cancer drugs, taking SafeVite makes a whole lot of sense.

At 4CancerWellness our mission is supporting the wellbeing of all cancer patients during and after treatment, and thus we do recommend the daily multivitamin, SafeVite.

SafeVite: the Cancer Vitamin

This product was specifically developed to avoid vitamins that interfere with treatment but provide supportive and appropriate doses of vitamins that address the risk of nutritional needs like Vitamin B6 and Vitamin D.  Can you go back to other over the counter vitamins when not on a cancer treatment? Since we do not know when or if you will go back on a cancer treatment, and just as important, have not confirmed these vitamins we avoid prevent cancer or recurrence, 4CancerWellness feels it is best to continue with SafeVite daily. It just seems ‘safer’. Again, it is all about supporting your wellbeing whether or not you are on a cancer treatment.

In addition, SafeVite addresses other risks. We recognizes that certain vitamin levels are higher in cancer patients. Probably best to avoid those vitamins as well.

Do you need vitamins to support your wellbeing during and after cancer treatment?

Most cancer doctors, nutritionist (RD) and other health experts would say yes. Cancer patients do develop vitamin deficiencies and an appropriate dose is recommended. We also caution that more is generally not the answer. For example, high vitamin E levels can lead to liver failure, and too much B6 leads to nerve damage even though lower doses are often used to help with painful nerve damage. The later regarding helping nerve damage remains controversial.

Our mission is supporting the wellbeing of cancer patients during and after treatment. In fact our first endeavor was developing SafeVite, an all-natural, holistic, researched multivitamin, to be used in conjunction with activity and healthy nutrition for those on chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. It is truly a first of its kind vitamin.

So is it OK to take a multivitamin while on chemotherapy?

The answer is yes, if it is SafeVite.

At 4CancerWellness, we can not guarantee to prevent all cancer or recurrences, but we can and will support your wellbeing, increasing your chances if able to complete your curative cancer treatment.

SafeVite is an all-natural and holistic multivitamin that supports your wellbeing during and after cancer treatment …giving you the ability to meet this challenge and succeed.

About the Author

Dr. John Haluschak, MD

A medical oncologist who started treating cancer patients in 1991 and from his earliest days had an interest in the genetics and preventative aspects of cancer. Dr. Haluschak has been a driving force in the discovery and development of SafeVite.

What Vitamins Should I Take During and After Cancer Treatment?

Over the years, we are frequently asked by cancer patients,

“what vitamins are appropriate?”

As cancer doctors, our first priority is curing cancer and helping patients understand their prognosis and treatments. Given these priorities, many oncologists believe vitamins are less important, or surprisingly, unsure of the science and have difficulty in addressing what sounds like a straight-forward question. Frankly, it is a combination of not knowing the research regarding interactions as well as the research into this topic. It is not for interest, just a less priority for most. Also part of the problem, a physician does not know if you will be on a new cancer treatment and will certain vitamins interfere with the necessary success of that treatment.

Knowing no such vitamin has been available, research oriented oncologists and cancer specific pharmacists formed 4CancerWellness and developed an all natural and holistic ‘appropriate’ cancer patient daily multivitamin that:

✅  does not interfere with a cancer treatment

✅  addresses a cancer patient’s unique vitamin deficiencies 

✅  and at the same time, considers that certain vitamins need to be limited or even avoided because of the risk of high levels in cancer patients. 

This first of its kind vitamin is SafeVite. An all natural, holistic daily multivitamin for cancer patients, including those on cancer treatments. At 4CancerWellness our mission is…

supporting the wellbeing of patients during and after cancer treatment.

We know that SafeVite is the answer to a cancer patient’s multivitamin needs. In the very near future, we will also be launching other researched, all-natural and holistic supplements that mitigate side effects of cancer treatments, are safe to use with prescription medications, and most important, do not interfere with potentially curative cancer treatments. In addition, 4CancerWellness will launch personalized nutrition plans, activity plans and offer faith based as well as meditation based coping skills and finally other support services and information — all with the desire to help the wellbeing of cancer patients during and after cancer treatment.

SafeVite was developed by cancer doctors using the latest research, carefully considering which vitamins to include and at what doses to maximize the benefit to patients during as well as after cancer treatments.

What is unique about this product compared to the standard over the counter multivitamins?

  • Extensively researched by cancer doctors and cancer specific pharmacists
  • Recognizes certain vitamins can interfere with curative treatments
  • Cancer patients have specific life-long vitamin deficiencies
  • Cancer patients often run the risk of certain vitamin levels being dangerously elevated 
  • Recognizes that certain inactive ingredients in a multivitamin can cause cancer (carcinogenic)
  • Avoids over-supplementation by using appropriate doses
  • At 4CancerWellness our mission is to address wellness of all cancer patients and to do this safely during and after cancer treatments with a daily all-natural and holistic properly researched and vetted multivitamin

Examples of what SafeVite contains or avoids and the ‘why?’

  • Vitamin D deficiency is widespread and frequently seen in patients receiving cancer treatments including colon and breast cancer patients. At the same time you should take an appropriate amount of D3.This vitamin is considered important specifically for cancer patients. For example too much vitamin D has been implicated in causing pancreatic cancer. 
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) — Likely avoids deficiency and considered appropriate for wellness specifically in most cancer patients having had previous cancer treatments. A partial list includes lymphoma, breast, colon, lung, sarcoma and myeloma (and other cancers). For example, use of B6 is associated with lower risk of hormone positive breast cancer and likely helpful in colon and pancreatic cancer but if using higher doses leads to nerve damage (neuropathy) which is already an important side effect of most chemotherapy.
  • Vitamin B12 is deficient in many types of cancer including breast cancer and multiple myeloma. B12 deficiency often results from deficiency of the protein intrinsic factor produced by the parietal cell in the stomach and thus frequently present in cancer patients and likely requires a very high dose in order to be absorbed. This is particularly true in diabetic patients which unfortunately is common in many cancer patients. Also, B12 based on homocysteine alterations, likely helps with bone health, avoiding bone fractures.
  • Avoids Calcium as one out of every four cancer patients will have significantly elevated calcium levels at some time in their life. Although calcium may be necessary for certain patients (like those on bone strengthening agents) it is best to avoid added calcium until confirmed with your doctor what amounts are appropriate.
  • Avoids Zinc knowing that although it may help with taste alterations due to radiation damage; it likely decreases cures. This is currently being studied. Current concerns also exist about this interfering with certain types of chemotherapy. For now likely best to avoid since its known benefits are limited in cancer patients and also knowing it definitely leads to copper deficiency.
  • Certain vitamins based on randomized controlled trials (high level confirmatory research) are known to interfere with cancer treatments. These same vitamins have been extensively studied thinking they may prevent cancer but this has not been found. This includes a list of at least 7 products commonly found in most multivitamins.

We know the answer is not ‘more vitamins are better’

…or just buying a multivitamin off the shelf is not ideal for cancer patients, especially those on treatment. Consequently at 4CancerWellness our research team developed SafeVite knowing that our mission is to address wellness for all cancer patients during and after cancer treatments with a daily all-natural, holistic, properly researched and vetted multivitamin.

SafeVite: the cancer vitamin

About the Author

Dr. John Haluschak, MD

A medical oncologist who started treating cancer patients in 1991 and from his earliest days had an interest in the genetics and preventative aspects of cancer. Dr. Haluschak has been a driving force in the discovery and development of SafeVite.

Misinformation about Cancer as well as Vitamins

When Cancer becomes a part of your life whether it’s you or someone you know, patients and family look for insights and information on how best to cope and cure the cancer, often with limited past cancer experience. Understandably there is an immediate collaboration between family and friends, searching the Internet for answers and no doubt finding a mind numbing volume of preventions, treatments and cures.

Those sources may be well intended, but it is near impossible to differentiate what is real. It is important to start your research with well-respected organizations where you can rely on the information.

Some of the most respected organizations include the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, each providing excellent patient resources like CANCER.NET and NCCN.COM. Note, this should not be misconstrued as a comprehensive list, but rather a good place to start.

When it comes to information, beyond looking at the source, we need to see if the claims being made are logical. If a product claims to be good for every disease from diabetes, cancer and blood pressure or a product is great because it’s ‘all natural’ or the only product that can cure cancer; buyer beware.

This is not to say that wellness, healthy living, nutrition and exercise are not vitally important, however, it’s also important to acknowledge the false claim that traditional medicine can’t cure cancer, especially when the majority of cancer is currently being cured. Some advice sounds logical enough, but with more insight is actually misguided by being completely inaccurate, hiding under the mask of what at face value sounds natural or better because it’s alternative.

It’s just like ‘all vitamins are good for you’ and ‘more vitamins are better’.

Speaking of Vitamins, when it comes to Cancer there are many excellent resources, but oncologists often worry about overstated or false claims, fearing their patients may not focus on the important lifesaving or even curative treatments. It is also important to recognize oncologists today cannot cure all cancer patients, which unfortunately makes these patients understandably vulnerable to false claims and the latest quick cures.

This reality though should not negate the importance of vitamins. As we often say at 4Wellness, “Vitamins seem to lose priority when addressing curative treatments, but clearly there are appropriate vitamins and doses along with recognition that it’s best to avoid some vitamins as we truly address wellness in our cancer patients”. It is for this reason that SafeVite was developed, as there’s a lot of misinformation out there, especially when it comes to vitamins.

So, to reiterate; common misinformation includes; “vitamins are not important when it comes to cancer patients”. “Vitamins are natural and harmless”. “Vitamins levels aren’t affected by cancer treatments and elevated vitamin levels are never life-threatening”. “No vitamin addresses cancer treatment toxicities”, and the strange comment; “what vitamins you take do not matter”. Even stranger; “all vitamins are safe and ‘more’ must be better”. These comments are not wellness and definitely not wise. When it comes to cancer, choose SafeVite as a daily multivitamin and be wise.

What Vitamins are Harmful in Larger Doses

When it comes to cancer, larger doses of vitamins can indeed be harmful.

We live in a society that often thinks, if something is helpful, then more must be better. When it comes to vitamins, this is not logical and definitely not true.

There are some basic rules regarding too much of certain vitamins. Doses near or at the recommended daily allowances are indeed recommended for a reason. Most vitamins (though not all) are often risky when taken at excessively high doses.

In other words, Vitamin A, D, E, K, Calcium and even B1, B2, B6 can carry this risk. This is particularly true of fat soluble vitamins. Vitamin A, D, E and K when taken in larger doses, lead to accumulation in fatty tissues like the liver, instead of being eliminated in the urine like water soluble vitamins. Expensive urine is not so dangerous, but killing your liver is not a good idea.

Vitamin E may be the most harmful when taken in large doses clearly leading to liver death, then patient death. A Small enough dose is perfectly safe. In fact, nearly all observational studies suggest an increased risk of death when taking even a moderately larger doses of Vitamin E.

Vitamin D can lead to a syndrome term Hypervitaminosis D. This often leads to high calcium levels with nausea, altered thinking and dehydration. Keep in mind some people need more Vitamin D, but often it’s not a good idea to take more than what is necessary.

The same goes for vitamin A toxicity, called Hypervitaminosis A, leading to possibly abdominal pain, nausea, irritability and drowsiness, visual disturbance and bone pain.

Vitamin B6 in larger doses above 100 mg daily, increases nerve toxicities while at lower doses is often considered helpful if nerves have been damaged from other agents or reasons (like certain chemotherapy drugs).

Given current literature, B12 is the safest product at large doses. In fact, it often requires very large doses to achieve, thru passive absorption, adequate B12 levels. If the intrinsic factor levels are quite low (this protein is normally produced in the stomach and must be adequate to absorb the low doses of B12 listed at the recommended daily allowances). Higher doses of this vitamin may be safe, even desired if this protein is low, as often found in cancer patients those previously getting treatment for cancer.

So, can vitamins be harmful if you take high doses? Clearly the answer is yes. Especially when taking fat soluble vitamins. It is definitely best to limit these vitamins and sometimes even avoid them regarding a cancer patient. If you would like to learn about a daily multivitamin that takes into account what we have been discussing , take a look at www.SafeVite.com.

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 allows it to become dysplastic (a pre-cancer cell) and needs other genetic changes to survival (be immortalized) outside it’s 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.

To find out which vitamins to avoid and to learn more about the product that does it for you, we encourage you to go to: www.SafeVite.com.