Vitamin C: My oncologist said we can't have... - My Ovacome

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Vitamin C

Comedy123 profile image

My oncologist said we can't have antioxidant during chemo. Pharmacist said we cannot have Vitamin C supplements during chemo. I heard in Germany they alternate Vit C IV

With chemo IV. Does anybody know anything regarding Vit C during chemo?

Appreciate any response.


16 Replies

I've heard that with certain types of chemo, eg that for pancreatic cancer, getting IV vitamin C at same time can increase its effect and reduce severity of side efffects. Not sure why UK isn't doing it. Are you in London? Keep trying to get my friend with PC to ask about it. I will if I have to have chemo again. UK tends to be very slow generally with new treatments. . Results seem mixed. xx

It’s best not to take low dose vit c tablets with cancer as it acts as an anti oxidant.Cancer likes this as it likes an unoxygenated environment to thrive in.You can pay privately for iv vit c in the uk and it is extremely expensive.It is given in high doses so that it acts as a pro oxidant which cancer doesn’t like.But you need to be having iv vit c at least twice a week so therefore most people cannot afford it.It does appear after researching though that it can be very beneficial.

This doesn't sound correct to me. An "unoxygenated environment" is an anaerobic environment (an "antioxidant" is a completely different thing). Conversely, cancer cells deliberately create a connection to the host blood supply, which carries oxygen throughout the body, in order to grow. Do you have a reference, please?


B.App.Sci. (Hons)

My oncologist never warned me l took 1000mg chewable every day and also take a Turmeric supplement everyday lm not saying its right but l did mention it so always check. And lm doing alright 2 years on from Carbo/Taxol lm NED I have serious grade 3 ovarian cancer. I still take above every day. Sending love & hugs to you all


Comedy123 profile image
Comedy123 in reply to Realistic

Hi Sheila, we're you high grade serous OC? Did you take any maintenence dose?Thanks

Realistic profile image
Realistic in reply to Comedy123

Yes l am high grade 3 serious although lm never sure if thats a worry or not, not that l am no point I still take one 1,000 mg vit C every day along with either 2 capsules of Turmeric which has some black pepper in it. Or l have it mixed in home made chicken soup thats in powder form which we have every other day. So far so good . And no lve never actually been offered

any maintenance dose. No doubt if the beast starts up again l will hopefully 🙏 l have said many times before that l would take whatever

It needs if it keeps me well. Sending hugs SheilaFxx

I agree with Lovedogs comment on IV Vit C . Research has shown it’s beneficial but in high doses but also very expensive .and difficult to get in the Uk Tablets cannot get the same effect and could be assisting the cancer to grow . Check out Jane McLelland s website How to starve cancer .com . for more information. This is all a learning curve and these metabolic remedies have not been clinically proven but conventional treatments are falling short of curing us . Have a look at the Care Oncology Clinic protocol . It is based on Jane’s book . I have started it after first line treatment failed with me . It can be used alongside mainstream medicine . Hope that helps . Good luck xx

Lovedogs41 profile image
Lovedogs41 in reply to Bray

Definitely agree with you,we need to be our advocate and research and research,eventually chemo stops working,alternatives may not have been through clinical trials but I certainly think it’s worth a try.

When I first started chemo I asked if I could take supplements like turmeric or Vit C and I was told “no”. My family are always trying to get me to take Vit C and omega and I’m scared to do it. I do However take melatonin to sleep. There seems to be conflicting advice for cancer patients. I really wish they could publish definitive advice.

Kayadiana profile image
Kayadiana in reply to JustKBO

As far as current knowledge goes, you shouldn’t take vitamin c supplements, as you can’t reach the levels needed for it to harm the cancer. This is why IV is used. Melatonin is great, though - look at the canceractive website for an article +references.

Hi, I am actually prescribed pharmaceutical grade melatonin by a neurologist because of a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (DSPD). It's practically impossible to get hold of it privately in the UK, because the government banned it, along with all sorts of other (what they classed as) 'herbal' remedies, several years ago. If you can get it from abroad without customs taking it, it's important not to take slow release melatonin, but instead to take the normal liquid melatonin and just take 1mg a couple of hours before intended sleep time. PLus, get a decent (high wattage) light box and have it on for an hour while you eat breakfast and check emails etc. Melatonin transformed my life. Although, I must admit that I do still have some sleep problems just after chemo, with all the steroids and other stuff in my system. I am yet to have my op (3 weeks or so time), and have my 6th chemo today.

So pleased you could get melatonin. According to Chris Woollams’ research (see canceractive website for research references) it has anti-cancer activity, both directly and indirectly. I take much more than you - which I’m sure would horrify the sceptics. I have thought about a light box. During the lighter months I make sure I go outside for a bit, especially in the morning, but this may not be enough in winter.

Jane McLelland mentioned that adding thyroid supplements helped her get back to sleep/stay asleep and there may be something in this - especially if your thyroid test shows a TSH at the high end of ‘normal’.

I’ve been reading a huge number of research papers, which can be a bit daunting, but which do report positive results with eg berberine, curcumin, phytochemicals (from plants) of different sorts. Usually, putting in cancer and a phrase like natural compounds, herbal or the name of a particular substance, gives you some links to research articles. I found them tough going when I had chemo brain, but better now (7 months after last infusion).

Hi. A higher dose of melatonin ironically does not work as well as the dose (1mg liquid) that I've been prescribed. My dose is the optimum to trigger the pineal gland to producing the melatonin in preparation for sleep. Plus, if you wanted to trigger sleep even faster, then a much much lower dose of 1 microgram will do that, strangely enough, but not keep you asleep for as long. If you're interested on the medical side, PM me. I have lots of links. Plus I can give you the link for a forum in the U.S. (there is no sleep disorders forum in the UK). It's all very interesting. Shift workers and people with sleep disorders are more likely to get certain cancers - for women, that includes breast cancer (they discovered after a mammogram that I had abnormal breast cancer cells about 6 years ago, so I then had 2 biopsies followed by 5 yearly mammograms). There are so many more factors involved in most illnesses, including cancer, that new research. of course, is showing.

OvacomeSupport profile image

Dear Comedy123

Thank you for your post. You may find the Memorial Sloan Kettering About Herbs database helpful. The details for Vitamin C are here:

You'll see that while foods rich in Vitamin C are safe, taking a supplement can interact with chemotherapies and decrease their effects.

Please do discuss any supplements you plan on taking with your medical team, so they can advise on any precautions and potential interactions.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes


Ovacome Support

Mine told me no supplements at all x

When I was on chemo, I used smart water instead of regular water. I actually used both of them. I believe my nurse told me that the antioxidants in smart water were alright. That was over a year and a half ago. My last CT scan was good, so I figured that the smart water was ok. Just a thought, Donna U.S.

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