CHEMOTHERAPY: Vitamin E can reduce the worst effects

Chemotherapy is like a neutron bomb of a therapy; it leaves nothing standing, not even the patient. So anything that can offset the worst effects of the drug therapy is to be welcomed.

Researchers have tested vitamin E, an antioxidant, on 27 cancer patients being treated with chemotherapy. Half were given supplementation, and the rest had standard treatment. The supplement group was given vitamin E for up to eight days before chemotherapy started, and the treatment was continued for three months afterwards.

Just a third of the vitamin E group suffered serious side-effects, such as neurotoxicity, from the chemotherapy, compared with 85 per cent of those who were not given supplements.

(Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2003; 21: 927-31).

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