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.