Nutrition plays an important role in the development of cancer. Dietary factors such as increased fat and animal protein, especially when broiled, can promote development of cancer, but many foods such as soy, garlic, cruciferous vegetables, fruits, tea, and even some chocolates have beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants that may reduce the risk of cancer. With a healthy diet and life style, which includes regular exercise and avoidance of carcinogens including tobacco, supplemental vitamins may not be needed. Many of us, however, may benefit from supplemental vitamins. Here's how they work:
Vitamin A, important for cell differentiation, has been shown to inhibit development of bladder cancer in animal studies and some epidemiologic studies have suggest that increased Vitamin A intake lowers the risk of developing bladder cancer. High doses of Vitamin A and the related derivative Etretinate have had some success in the treatment and prevention of bladder cancer.
Vitamin B6 stimulates the immune system and alters the breakdown of the amino acid tryptophane to reduce chemicals that have been implicated in the development of bladder cancer. A Veteran's Administration study found that Vitamin B6 reduced bladder tumor recurrence, but subsequent trials were unsuccessful.
Vitamin C also stimulates the immune system and is an important antioxidant that blocks many carcinogens. Epidemiologic studies suggest increased Vitamin C intake reduces risk of bladder cancer. Animal studies are inconsistent, but Vitamin C can prevent and even reverse malignant transformation of cells cultured in the laboratory.
Vitamin E, also an antioxidant and immune stimulant, is associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Animal studies show a 30 to 60% reduction in cancer with Vitamin E administration.
Other vitamins including folic acid and Vitamin D also appear to reduce the risk of cancer. In a randomized comparison of standard multiple vitamins versus high doses of vitamins A, B6, C, E and zinc in patients with bladder cancer treated with BCG we found a statistically significant 40% reduction in bladder tumor recurrence. Since that time additional vitamins have been reported to reduce cancer growth, and these have been added to the preparation. The dose for bladder cancer patients is two tablets twice a day, reduced to a total of three tablets a day for those under 100 lbs.
While vitamins are generally recognized as safe, side effects can occur with high doses. Because of the high dose of vitamin A, Oncovite should be strictly avoided in anyone who might become pregnant. Vitamin A can also cause liver malfunction, and tests of liver function should be done yearly. Because of the maximal doses of several vitamins, other vitamins should not be taken with Oncovite.
The benefit of high dose vitamins is currently being evaluated again in patients receiving optimal BCG maintenance therapy with or without interferon alfa.
|Vitamin A||5,000 IU||9,000 IU|
|Vitamin C||60 mg||500 mg|
|Vitamin D3||400 IU||400 IU|
|Vitamin E||30 IU||100 IU|
|Thiamine||1.5 mg||0.34 mg|
|Riboflavin||1.7 mg||0.5 mg|
|Niacin||20 mg||5 mg|
|Vitamin B6||2.0 mg||25 mg|
|Folate||0.4 mg||0.4 mg|
|Vitamin B12||6 mcg||1.6 mcg|
|Pantothenic Acid||10 mg||2.3 mg|
|Zinc||15 mg||7.5 mg|
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