Should I take vitamins and supplements while I am on Chemotherapy?
This week's featured question is on the topic of Chemotherapy.
This week’s question was from Joann from Reedley: Should I take vitamins and supplements while I am on Chemotherapy?
Jeff Herr, Doctor of Pharmacy
A: Sometimes, supplements are important to help maintain body weight and to ensure that you are getting a good amount of protein, fats and carbohydrates. This is especially important if the chemotherapy is decreasing your appetite. The diet is the preferred choice to meet your nutritional needs, but if you are not eating a well balanced diet, you are not getting all the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy body.
Taking vitamins during chemo follows the same rule. You need to speak with your doctor or pharmacist first. There are water soluble vitamins which are excreted in excess and fat soluble vitamins that can be stored in the body. Either group can be toxic if taken in excess and so they would then become counter-productive during your chemotherapy.