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What more can I do?
Complementary Therapies - What Works and When
Nutrition
Superfoods
Preparing for Surgery
Supplements -What Helps and Why
Curcumin
Melatonin
Vitamin D
Fish oil
Glutamine
Ginger
Ashwaganda
Fermented wheat germ
Probiotics
Homeopathy
Modified citrus pectin
Coriolus Versicolor
Homeopathy and cancer
Mind-Body and Soul - Achieving Balance
Dealing with Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Integrative options for specific cancers
Get Moving - How and Why
Improving Sleep
Survivorship- What to do after treatments?
Exceptional Patients - Lessons For You
Recommended Books
Resources and links
01/06/2017
Reflexology as the leading touch therapy in cancer
04/04/2017
Grounding beneficial effect
02/02/2017
Probiotics improves immunotherapy
01/02/2017
Soy might reduce breast cancer risk for recurrence
31/01/2017
Acupuncture and arthralgia due to aromatase inhibi
30/01/2017
Acupuncture helpful in cancer related fatigue
27/01/2017
Additive homeopathic treatment in cancer
05/07/2016
Stress reduction- Does it affect survival?
01/07/2016
Exceptional patients- updated link
29/06/2016
Acupuncture in cancer care
31/05/2016
Stress reduction can affect genes
31/05/2016
Acupuncture in cancer related pain
30/04/2016
Fish oil and breast cancer
31/03/2016
Fatigue affected by Biofield Healing
29/02/2016
Fasting and chemotherapy
12/11/2015
Meat consumption and breast cancer risk
15/09/2015
The evolving field of integrative oncology
02/06/2015
Do cancer survivors use CAM?
30/05/2015
Ginger might have a role in Colon Cancer
28/05/2015
Acupuncture is helpful with hot flushe in patients
06/05/2015
Chemobrain and complementary therapies
01/04/2015
The Value of Presence
01/04/2015
Homeopathic remedies affect breast cancer cells
04/03/2015
Fish oil may prevent weight loss during cancer tx
04/03/2015
Integrative Medicine in cancer care
02/06/2014
Lack of sleep and breast cancer
27/05/2014
Soy might reduce lung cancer risk
18/04/2014
Hot flushes relieved with magnesium
01/01/2014
Integrating Dietary Supplements into Cancer Care
24/12/2013
Social isolation can affect mortality
21/06/2013
Nutrition and reducing risk of death
08/05/2013
Social environment can affect survival
07/05/2013
Nutrition and reduced risk of breast cancer
03/01/2013
Stress reduction affect genes
02/01/2013
Exercise can reduce prostate cancer death
30/11/2012
Protective effects of control beliefs
30/11/2012
Does diet affect colorectal cancer?
06/11/2012
Ginseng eases cancer related fatigue
20/07/2012
Selenium and prostate cancer
15/06/2012
Additional studies show effect of homeopathy on ca
05/06/2012
Guidelines for nutrition - physical activity 2012
15/04/2012
Mindfulness and stress in cancer
08/03/2012
The Benefit of Exercise
20/01/2012
Massage in cancer care
15/01/2012
Mindfulness and stress reduction in breast cancer
19/11/2011
Stress and cancer progression
28/09/2011
Qigong, cognitive function and quality of life
29/08/2011
Phone consultation is helpful in managing symptoms
24/04/2011
Rye and breast cancer
21/04/2011
Mindfulness in cancer care
13/04/2011
Omega-3 Formulation Has Antineoplastic Activity
31/03/2011
Long term effects of acupuncture on hot flushes
07/01/2011
Guidelines for Integrative Oncology
28/07/2010
Is sugar and soft drinks good for you?
25/07/2010
Broccoli and bladder cancer
17/07/2010
Nutrition in the prevention of colorectal cancer
15/07/2010
Managing Radiation Therapy Side effects
Supplements -What Helps and Why

Nutritional supplements (also called dietary supplements) are products that contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, herbs or other botanicals, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet.


The Supplement Market


Nutritional supplements use in the United States and other countries in the Western world are quite popular. People are taking multiple supplements in their cancer journey, a great deal without their physician’s knowledge. By law in the United States and some other countries, the manufacturers are not allowed to claim that their product will cure, treat, or prevent a disease. However, patients often take them with such expectations. Most rely on the marketing information without any objective independent reliable data to support its use. There are over 20,000 nutritional supplements in the US market, without real supervision and monitoring of this multi-billion dollar market, at times taking advantage of people in desperation and in a search for a magic bullet and cure.


Harm and Benefit


There is a major gap in reliable data on the quality and accurate ingredient content of these products. One has to rely mostly, on the marketing material provided by the manufacturer or distributor. At times one has to be cautious as some supplements should not be taken because they are ineffective, they interact with conventional medications in a way that reduces their effectiveness or may even be toxic. However, certain populations may benefit from the use of certain nutritional supplements. With some supplements there are clues in the scientific literature of possible benefit, which patients can consider adding them to their care, after evaluating all risks and benefits.


Direction in making choices


Taking our experience in reviewing the scientific literature, being involved in research on some of these supplements, and knowledge of the nutritional supplement market, we are trying to give direction on the best supplements that have the best evidence available, which ones have better clues for benefit and which ones are based only on marketing information, or carry more risk than benefit and probably should be avoided. 

Link to Leading Supplements Graph

Over the decades, we have learned to put our trust in the benefits of a dozen or so supplements, and avoid others. This information is very fluid according to the latest research and we are trying to update our knowledge as new scientific information emerges.

The Clinical Practice Committee of the Society of Integrative Oncology published in 2013 a study on the 10 leading supplements in cancer care from the perspective of experienced practitioners in leading academic centers in the US. Press on the link to this study.

Some of the ones that might have clues for benefit are listed below :

Curcumin
 
Melatonin
 
Vitamin D
 
Fish oil
 
Glutamine
 
Ginger
 
Ashwaganda
 
Fermented wheat germ
 
Probiotics
 
Homeopathy
 
Modified citrus pectin
 
Coriolus Versicolor

© 2017 Moshe Frenkel MD

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