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Supplement Dilemma

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi...I'm posting quite often lately...lol

I had appointment with Naturopath yesterday. I finished radiation on July 11. I now have to wait until Sept 9 for surgery. I'm very interested in getting on supplements to try to inhibit tumor growth in the next few weeks. I'm still struggling with feeling ok about taking supplements.

I am of course worried about taking large doeses of anit-oxidants when I will be going back on chemo after surgery. But believe it or not I'm a little worried right now as well because, by my understanding, the radiation is still actually killing cancer, even though I have been off of radiation for a month.

The multi-vit I was prescribed has around 4000% of RDA for some vitamins, including C, which I know is an anit-oxidant. My ND says she has many papers showing that it is ok to take these, but I still can't shake my concerns.

L-glutamine was also prescribed. I read on http://www.adam.com/democontent/IMCAccess/ConsSupplements/Glutaminecs.html
that "Glutamine is used to protect the lining of the small and large intestines from damage caused by chemotherapy or radiation. Glutamine may also protect against the development of mucositis (breakdown of the mucosal membranes of the mouth and nasal passages) caused by therapy for head and neck cancer. There is some question, however, about whether protection of the intestinal mucosa is a desired result for colon cancer. Plus, some studies suggest that this nutrient may actually stimulate the growth of tumors. Therefore, more research is needed to know whether use of glutamine is safe or effective to use as part of the treatment regimen for cancer."

Ugh ...yesterday I was feeling pretty confident about things and dropped $300 for supplements. But today I'm a little scared.

Emily and Lisa and other supplement, do you take L-Glutamine? Maitake-D, green tea? Cod liver oil? Greens First? BCQ enzymes? These were all prescribed to me.


2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

hi maria,

I was not prescribed the L-Glutamine.

I did take Maitaike Mushrooms and drank green tea and take fish oils (EPA) and digestive enzymes and I put Greens (Barleans Greens) in my carrot juice.

I am so glad you found a Naturopath.

Have you read Beating Cancer With Nutrition by Patrick Quillin? I think he makes a good argument as to what to take during certain chemos. Check it out.

peace, emily

HisJoy's picture
Posts: 113
Joined: Feb 2005

I was given Esiac tea, fish oil, and L-Lycene. No idea if it did any good, because I had to stop taking them when I started chemo. There are no studies to show how chemo interacts with some of these natural things, so I thought I'd give chemo a chance and then go back to supplements and nutrition.

There are SO MANY conflicting reports out there that it's difficult to know what to do. I'm trying to just eat raw fruits and veggies and whole grains with a little lean meat and fish daily and a small amount of dairy with a calcium supplement. I know exercise is important, too, but at this stage of chemo (10 treatments down and 2 to go), it is very hard for me to walk even a quarter of a mile without being achy and out of breath. I feel fat and lazy because I'm used to running and walking 5 miles and working out daily. I'm so weak now, I can't even pick up my husband's 15-pound dumbbell off the floor. Anyone else experience this with chemo?

Please let me know what you find out and what you decide to do with the supplements, because I'm VERY interested in alternate treatments to keep this beast away after chemo is over.


markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Thanks BB and emily for your replies. I have read parts of Quillan's book. It is just hard to shake the discouragment you get from mainstream medicine to stay off the anti-oxidants. Things I feel ok about is juicing, green tea, maitake-D, fish oil. It is mainly just the multi-vitamin with the high levels of anti-oxdants that is my concern. It is my understanding that the other stuff isn't really a concern whether it interferes.

The weakness sounds pretty rough BB. I have been off treatment for a month. My hands and feet are finally healed. And I'm trying to start getting more exercise. It is amazing how much my muscles have deterioated. I have an annoying hamstring strain that is also slowing me down as a try to increase activity.

So I am stilll mulling this whole thing over and researching it. I likely will be taking everything but the high dose multi-vit right now. I am not sure what I am going to do when I go back on chemo after surgery. I will let you know. Oh I'm not going to be taking the L-gluatamine though...what I read yesterday just really worried me.

Best wishes,

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