Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Title abbreviation: Adv Clin Exp Med
JCR Impact Factor (IF) – 1.736
5-Year Impact Factor – 2.135
Index Copernicus  – 168.52
MEiN – 70 pts

ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
ISSN 2451-2680 (online)
Periodicity – monthly

Download original text (EN)

Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2018, vol. 27, nr 10, October, p. 1365–1369

doi: 10.17219/acem/70030

Publication type: original article

Language: English

Download citation:

  • BIBTEX (JabRef, Mendeley)
  • RIS (Papers, Reference Manager, RefWorks, Zotero)

The use of antioxidant vitamin supplements among oncological patients

Anna Mandecka1,A,E,F, Anna Czekajło1,B,C,D, Malwina Goździk2,B,C,D, Dorota Różańska1,A,E,F, Tomasz Kłaniewski3,F, Andrzej Szuba3,4,F, Bożena Regulska-Ilow1,E,F

1 Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland

2 Students Scientific Club, Department of Dietetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland

3 Department of Internal Medicine, 4th Military Hospital in Wroclaw, Poland

4 Department of Angiology, Faculty of Medicine, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland


Background. Dietary supplementation is becoming more and more common among both healthy and unhealthy people. The use of supplements is often unjustified, though in some groups of patients it is a necessary management for providing the required vitamins and minerals.
Objectives. The aim of the study was to assess the frequency of using antioxidant vitamin supplements (A, C and E) among the patients of the oncology ward.
Material and Methods. The study group included 78 patients aged 19–83 years. The dietary intake of vitamins as well as the intake of supplements was assessed based on the data from the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ).
Results. It was observed that 46.2% of patients used some kind of a dietary supplement and 77.8% of them used antioxidant vitamins. Among those taking vitamin A, C or E supplements, 72.2% of women and 80% of men used multivitamins. It was reported that the average fulfillment of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A was 303 ±136%, for vitamin C it was 282 ±166% and for vitamin E it was 199 ±80%. More than 25% of the patients whose diets contained at least the same level of vitamins as dietary recommendations were using antioxidant vitamin supplements at the same time.
Conclusion. Although the average dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins among the patients was not insufficient, the use of dietary supplements in different forms was common in our study. The results of other studies concerning the safety of using dietary supplements by cancer patients are not conclusive. Dietary supplementation in oncological patients should always be used after a medical consultation with a doctor and a dietician.

Key words

cancer, oxidative stress, antioxidant vitamins, supplementation

References (30)

  1. World Health Organization. Cancer mortality and morbidity. Global Health Observatory (GHO) data. Accessed May 30, 2016.
  2. Gaziano JM, Sesso HD, Christen WG, et al. Multivitamins in the prevention of cancer in men: The Physicians’ Health Study II randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2012;308(18):1871–1880.
  3. Lee B, Oh SW, Myung SK. Efficacy of vitamin C supplements in prevention of cancer: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Korean J Fam Med. 2015;36(6):278–285.
  4. Klein EA, Thompson IM, Tangen CM, et al. Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA. 2011;306(14):1549–1556.
  5. Albanes D, Heinonen OP, Taylor PR, et al. Alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements and lung cancer incidence in the alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene cancer prevention study: Effects of base-line characteristics and study compliance. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1996;88(21):1560–1570.
  6. Myung SK, Kim Y, Ju W, Choi HJ, Bae WK. Effects of antioxidant supplements on cancer prevention: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Ann Oncol. 2010;21(1):166–179.
  7. Boon HS, Olatunde F, Zick SM. Trends in complementary/alternative medicine use by breast cancer survivors: Comparing survey data from 1998 and 2005. BMC Womens Health. 2007;7:4. doi: 10.1186/1472-6874-7-4
  8. Szponar L, Wolnicka K, Rychlik E. Album fotografii produktów i potraw. Warszawa, Poland: Instytut Żywności i Żywienia; 2000.
  9. Kunachowicz K, Nadolna I, Przygoda B, Iwanow K. Tabele wartości odżywczej produktów spożywczych i potraw. Warszawa, Poland: Instytut Żywności i Żywienia; 2005.
  10. Jarosz M, ed. Normy żywienia dla populacji polskiej – nowelizacja. Warszawa, Poland: Instytut Żywności i Żywienia; 2012.
  11. Norman HA, Butrum RR, Feldman E, et al. The role of dietary supplements during cancer therapy. J Nutr. 2003;133 (11 Suppl 1):3794S–3799S.
  12. Velicer CM, Ulrich CM. Vitamin and mineral supplement use among US adults after cancer diagnosis: A systematic review. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26(4):665–673.
  13. Rozporządzenie Ministra Zdrowia z 18 maja 2010 r. zmieniające rozporządzenie w sprawie składu oraz znakowania suplementów diety. Dz. U. 2010 r., nr 91, poz. 596.
  14. Koay DC, Zerillo C, Narayan M, Harris LN, DiGiovanna MP. Anti-tumor effects of retinoids combined with trastuzumab or tamoxifen in breast cancer cells: Induction of apoptosis by retinoid/trastuzumab combinations. Breast Cancer Res. 2010;12(4):R62. doi: 10.1186/bcr2625
  15. Jiménez-Lara AM, Aranda A, Gronemeyer H. Retinoic acid protects human breast cancer cells against etoposide-induced apoptosis by NF-kappaB-dependent but cIAP2-independent mechanisms. Mol Cancer. 2010;9:15. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-15
  16. Li GX, Lee MJ, Liu AB, et al. δ-tocopherol is more active than α- or γ-tocopherol in inhibiting lung tumorigenesis in vivo. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011;4(3):404–413.
  17. Takahashi S, Takeshita K, Seeni A, et al. Suppression of prostate cancer in a transgenic rat model via gamma-tocopherol activation of caspase signaling. Prostate. 2009;69(6):644–651.
  18. Uetaki M, Tabata S, Nakasuka F, Soga T, Tomita M. Metabolomic alterations in human cancer cells by vitamin C-induced oxidative stress. Sci Rep. 2015;5:13896. doi: 10.1038/srep13896
  19. Frömberg A, Gutsch D, Schulze D, et al. Ascorbate exerts anti-proliferative effects through cell cycle inhibition and sensitizes tumor cells towards cytostatic drugs. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2011;67(5):1157–1166.
  20. Heaney ML, Gardner JR, Karasavvas N, et al. Vitamin C antagonizes the cytotoxic effects of antineoplastic drugs. Cancer Res. 2008;68(19):8031–8038.
  21. Padayatty SJ, Sun H, Wang Y, et al. Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: Implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(7):
  22. Hwang IT, Chung YM, Kim JJ, et al. Drug resistance to 5-FU linked to reactive oxygen species modulator 1. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007;359(2):304–310.
  23. Wang Y, Wei S, Wang J, Fang Q, Chai Q. Phenethyl isothiocyanate inhibits growth of human chronic myeloid leukemia K562 cells via reactive oxygen species generation and caspases. Mol Med Rep. 2014;10(1):543–549.
  24. Bairati I, Meyer F, Gélinas M, et al. Randomized trial of antioxidant vitamins to prevent acute adverse effects of radiation therapy in head and neck cancer patients. J Clin Oncol. 2005;23(24):5805–5813.
  25. Bairati I, Meyer F, Jobin E, et al. Antioxidant vitamins supplementation and mortality: A randomized trial in head and neck cancer patients. Int J Cancer. 2006;119(9):2221–2224.
  26. Meyer F, Bairati I, Fortin A, et al. Interaction between antioxidant vitamin supplementation and cigarette smoking during radiation therapy in relation to long-term effects on recurrence and mortality: A randomized trial among head and neck cancer patients. Int J Cancer. 2008;122(7):1679–1683.
  27. Suhail N, Bilal N, Khan HY, et al. Effect of vitamins C and E on antioxidant status of breast-cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2012;37(7):22–26.
  28. Poole EM, Shu X, Caan BJ, et al. Postdiagnosis supplement use and breast cancer prognosis in the After Breast Cancer Pooling Project. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013;139(2):529–537.
  29. Fuchs-Tarlovsky V, Bejarano-Rosales M, Gutiérrez-Salmeán G, Casillas MA, López-Alvarenga JC, Ceballos-Reyes GM. Effect of antioxidant supplementation over oxidative stress and quality of life in cervical cancer [in Spanish]. Nutr Hosp. 2011;26(4):819–826.
  30. Yasueda A, Urushima H, Ito T. Efficacy and interaction of antioxidant supplements as adjuvant therapy in cancer treatment: A systematic review. Integr Cancer Ther. 2016;15(1):17–39.