The Role of Dietary Supplements during Cancer Therapy

Helen A. Norman, Ritva R. Butrum, Elaine Feldman, David Heber, Daniel Nixon, Mary Frances Picciano, Richard Rivlin, Artemis Simopoulos, Michael J. Wargovich, Elizabeth K. Weisburger, Steven H. Zeisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


This guide was compiled after recommendations by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) Cancer Resource Advisory Council. It encompasses the AICR position on current issues in nutrition for cancer survivors during treatment and is intended to provide advice about dietary supplements for cancer survivors who are still being treated. Current scientific findings about the safety and effectiveness of some commonly used dietary antioxidants and nonantioxidant supplements during chemotherapy are presented and assessed. Use of dietary supplements during cancer treatment remains controversial. Patients are cautioned that vitamin and mineral supplements as therapies are not substitutes for established medicine. The current recommendation for cancer patients is to only take moderate doses of supplements because evidence from human clinical studies that confirm their safety and benefits is limited. A daily multivitamin containing supplements at the levels of the Dietary Reference Intakes can be used safely as part of a program of healthy nutrition. In addition, the AICR Cancer Resource Advisory Council concluded that further scientific research is needed to provide a set of firm guidelines for the use of vitamin and mineral supplements by cancer patients during treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3794S-3799S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number11 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Dietaty antioxidant
  • Dietaty supplement
  • Micronutrients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'The Role of Dietary Supplements during Cancer Therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this