What Are the Best Vitamins to Take During Chemotherapy?

Taking multivitamins, fish oil, and vitamin D can be helpful when receiving chemotherapy. Nevertheless, some vitamins may lessen the efficacy of chemotherapy.

Getting all the nutrients you require from your food during chemotherapy treatment might be challenging. It may not always be the best idea to use vitamins and other supplements to address this issue and advance general health.

Certain vitamins may interact adversely with chemotherapy medications or potentially reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. The safest vitamins for you can be determined by speaking with your oncologist.

When receiving chemotherapy, should you take any nutritional supplements or vitamins?

It's best to find out from your oncologist what advantages there are to taking vitamins while undergoing chemotherapy. Generally speaking, it is advisable to use caution when taking vitamins while undergoing chemotherapy. This is due to the possibility that vitamins and other supplements will negate the effects of chemotherapy drugs.

This occurs as a result of specific vitamins providing you with additional antioxidants.

Generally speaking, antioxidants assist your body in eliminating free radicals that are created during metabolism and by chemicals like smoke. Antioxidants, however, can occasionally shield cancer cells during chemotherapy, preventing the treatment from killing the cells.

People taking antioxidant supplements had worse overall treatment outcomes, according to a 2020 study on the use of vitamins and antioxidants during therapy for malignancies, including leukaemia, lymphoma, breast cancer, and lung cancer.

However, this does not imply that taking vitamins while undergoing chemotherapy is never a smart idea. For example, certain vitamins and other supplements can assist in addressing certain nutritional deficits that may arise after chemotherapy. Additionally, it's probably okay to take some vitamins throughout treatment, like vitamin D.

What nutritional supplements or vitamins are the best to take when receiving chemotherapy?

Your oncologist's advice, your symptoms, and the sort of cancer you have will all determine which vitamins are best to take throughout chemotherapy. Which supplements are ideal for you will depend on your unique needs. However, several supplements are frequently taken by patients while receiving chemotherapy.

Among the top vitamins to take during chemotherapy are:
  • Vitamin D: Higher survival rates in patients with breast, colon, and lung cancer are linked to vitamin D. Additionally, it can lessen the risk of osteoporosis, which is linked to some cancers and cancer treatments.
  • Fish oil: Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, are particularly vital for patients undergoing chemotherapy who are malnourished. There are several health advantages to omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Vitamin B12: Antioxidants usually do not include vitamin B12. Some report that it increases their energy levels while receiving chemotherapy. However, using B12 during chemotherapy has been associated in certain studies with lower therapeutic outcomes.
  • Multivitamins: For those who have changes in appetite and nutrition as a result of chemotherapy, a daily multivitamin might be an excellent supply of nutrients.

What else can you do to boost your immune system while on chemo?

You can boost your immune system in several ways after receiving chemotherapy. By following these precautions, you can lower your chance of infection during treatment. During chemotherapy, the following advice can strengthen your immune system:
  • Getting your annual flu shot: Getting vaccinated against the flu can help keep you healthy. The ideal time to get the flu shot is something you may discuss with your doctor.
  • Getting any other recommended seasonal vaccinations: Certain vaccines are safe to have while undergoing chemotherapy, but not all of them are. It is advisable to find out which immunisations your oncologist thinks are recommended for you.
  • Practising good hand hygiene: It is imperative to consistently cleanse your hands with warm water and soap, particularly after being outside or coming into contact with any potentially contaminated surfaces.
  • Avoiding contact with people who have infections: It's better to avoid close contact with anyone who is ill, as infections can occasionally pass from person to person. Try to sanitise surfaces and wash your hands frequently if someone who lives with you is sick.
  • Avoiding contact with animal waste products: Infectious microorganisms can be found in animal excrement. If possible, try not to touch it and use gloves if necessary.
  • Eating a nutritious diet: Having a nutritious diet can strengthen your immune system. If the chemotherapy is preventing you from eating, discuss with your doctor the possibilities of meal replacement shakes and intravenous nutrition.
  • Getting plenty of sleep: Your body as a whole, including your immune system, depends on sleep. Prioritising sleep can support your immune system when receiving chemotherapy.
  • Asking your doctor about protective medications: Patients undergoing chemotherapy may occasionally be able to opt for preventive medicine. However, these drugs have the potential to have major negative effects, therefore doctors usually only prescribe them to patients who are at high risk of infection.


It's not usually advised to take vitamins when receiving chemotherapy.

Certain vitamins function as antioxidants and lessen the potency of chemotherapy. However, a few additional supplements, such as vitamin D, fish oil, and multivitamins, may help patients receiving chemotherapy.

It's advisable to discuss the safest options for you with your oncologist before taking any vitamins or other supplements.


Can I take a multivitamin while on chemotherapy?

A lot of medical professionals advise against using any high-dose supplements while undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. 

Can I take B12 during chemo?

However, using iron or B12 supplements on their own while receiving chemotherapy may be strongly linked to less favourable results.

Is vitamin D good during chemo?

A clinically significant benefit is also suggested by a meta-analysis of vitamin D supplementation's effects on CRC mortality outcomes (104). When high-dose vitamin D3 was added to chemotherapy for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, the progression-free survival was not statistically significant, but the supportive hazard ratio was improved.

Do chemo patients need vitamins?

Your doctor may prescribe calcium and vitamin D to support your bone health.

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