Dietary Supplement Use in Individuals Living with Cancer and Other Chronic Conditions: A Population-Based Study

Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, National Cancer Institute, 6116 Executive Blvd, Ste 404, MSC 8336, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Impact Factor: 3.92). 04/2008; 108(3):483-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2007.12.005
Source: PubMed


Cancer survivors are increasingly turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to manage short- and long-term treatment sequelae. Population-based data on relative use of dietary supplements among cancer survivors compared to those without a cancer history is lacking. Our objective was to compare supplement use among those with and without cancer and among those with and without other chronic conditions, and to identify correlates of supplement use by cancer status.
Cross-sectional, population-based survey of participants in the 2003 CAM supplement to the 2001 California Health Interview Survey.
Participants reporting a cancer diagnosis on the 2001 California Health Interview Survey or newly reported diagnosis on the 2003 survey (n=1,844) plus a random oversampling of racial/ethnic minorities (n=7,343).
Self-reported use of a multivitamin and 27 vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other natural products during the preceding 12 months.
Logistic regression analyses were performed with control for potential confounders.
Adults with cancer or other chronic conditions had higher prevalence of supplement use than those reporting no illness. The independent effect of cancer was associated with vitamin use, whereas living with other chronic conditions was associated with all types of supplement use, except multivitamins. Correlates of supplement use were similar between cancer survivors and cancer-free individuals-being a woman, advancing age, and greater physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake, and other CAM use. Among cancer survivors, non-Hispanic whites had the lowest prevalence of herbal supplement use.
These results indicate that having a chronic medical condition is the major factor associated with supplement use. A diagnosis of cancer, by itself, does not have an independent effect on supplement use. This suggests that most supplement use among cancer survivors is directed at dealing with or preventing the exacerbation of a comorbid condition. Consumers and health professionals should be aware that there is limited information on the effects of dietary supplements taken concurrently with prescription and other over-the-counter medications.

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    • "Some surveys have examined the relationship between supplement use and medical conditions. Analysis of the 2001 and 2003 California Health Interview Surveys identified 1576 cancer survivors and 4951 subjects with no history of cancer [14]. When supplement usage was examined, the authors found that “a diagnosis of cancer, by itself, does not have an independent effect on supplement use [14]”. "
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    ABSTRACT: Dietary supplements are used by half to two-thirds of American adults, and the evidence suggests that this usage is one component of a larger effort to develop a healthier lifestyle. Dietary supplement users tend on average to be better educated and to have somewhat higher incomes than nonusers, and these factors may contribute to their health-consciousness. Dietary supplement use also tends to be more prevalent among women than among men, and the prevalence of use increases with age in both men and women. Numerous surveys document that users of dietary supplements are significantly more likely than nonusers to have somewhat better dietary patterns, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid tobacco products. While supplement users tend to have better diets than nonusers, the differences are relatively small, their diets have some substantial nutrient shortfalls, and their supplement use has been shown to improve the adequacy of nutrient intakes. Overall, the evidence suggests that users of dietary supplements are seeking wellness and are consciously adopting a variety of lifestyle habits that they consider to contribute to healthy living.
    Nutrition Journal 02/2014; 13(1):14. DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-13-14 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    • "In vitro studies also elucidated the mechanism of action of this mushroom-herbal formulation in inhibiting proliferation and lowering the invasive behavior of a highly metastatic human cancer cell line, MDA-MB- 231, by the inhibition of cyclin A1 expression and by the downregulation of CXCR4 [79] [80] [81]. A combination of rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens , Geraniaceae), Ganoderma tsugae (Ganodermataceae), Codonopsis pilosula (Campanulaceae), and Angelica sinensis (Apiaceae) (RG-CMH) has been used in TCM treatments for breast cancer and is associated with immunomodulation based on anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties attributed to the synergistic activity of the components of the herbs [82]. In one RCT, RG-CHM intervention improved the immune cell count of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy preventing leukopenia and immune impairment associated with a decrease in levels of T cells, helper T cells, cytotoxic T cells, and natural killer cells compared with the group receiving placebo treatment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is a life-threatening disease among women worldwide with annual rates of reported incidence and death increasing alarmingly. Chemotherapy is a recommended and effective treatment option for breast cancer; however, the narrow therapeutic indices and varied side effects of currently approved drugs present major hurdles in increasing its effectiveness. An increasing number of literature evidence indicate that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) used in treatment-related symptom control and alleviation of side effects plays an important role in increasing survival rate and quality of life in breast cancer patients. This review focuses on the use of herbal medicines and acupuncture in palliative care and as adjuvants in the treatment of breast cancer. Herbal medicinal treatments, the correlation of clinical use with demonstrated in vitro and in vivo mechanisms of action, and the use of certain acupoints in acupuncture are summarized. The aim of this review is to facilitate an understanding of the current practice and usefulness of herbal medicine and acupuncture as adjuvants in breast cancer therapy.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 06/2013; 2013:437948. DOI:10.1155/2013/437948 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Polypharmacy is widespread in the general population, especially in the elderly. Besides registered medicine, the population of CAM users is growing, especially in the aged and in patients with chronic disease (Chung et al., 2009; Desai & Grossberg, 2003; Kennedy, 2005; McKenna & Killoury, 2010; Miller et al., 2008; Nowack et al., 2009; Ohama et al., 2006; Ramage-Morin, 2009). The most prevalent use of CAM are for treating cardiovascular disease, pain healing, cancer adjuvant therapy and obesity (Izzo, 2005). "

    Risk Management Trends, 07/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-314-9
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