Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional Supplements in Cancer Care and Other Metabolic Disorders

Why Are Nutritional Supplements Important?

There are two major reasons to take nutritional supplements. The first reason is to complement the diet with nutrients that may be lacking in sufficient amounts to provide maximal benefit for good health. The current standard American diet is widely acknowledged as unhealthy and deficient in key nutrients. More than 60% of adults over the age of 50 have insufficient dietary intake of vitamin D, vitamin E, the B vitamin folate, and calcium. Even individuals committed to a healthy diet can find it difficult to meet all their nutritional needs through food intake alone. Eating the recommended five generous servings of fruits and vegetables each day may be challenging. Modern industrial agricultural techniques yield fruits and vegetables low in important trace elements and nutrients, so that even when fruit and vegetable intake is high, amounts of some nutrients may still be too low. There is evidence that some vitamins, such as folate, are more effectively supplied as a supplement than by food. A balanced nutritional supplement helps a person obtain the vitamins and minerals he or she needs.

The second reason is to provide a select nutrient or combination of nutrients to support a specific body function. Some people inherit a body chemistry that requires greater amounts of certain vitamins and nutrients to bring their metabolism up to a normally functioning level. Other people have acquired body chemistry abnormalities due to toxic exposures or as part of a disorder such as poor kidney function. Still others require certain nutrients and vitamins to support them through medical therapies such as antibiotic or cancer chemotherapy. Dietary supplementation with vitamins, minerals and micronutrients complements a healthy diet to provide optimal nutrition and support well-being. It can help maintain health, preserve normal tissue and organ function, and support recovery from many diseases.

Nutrition in Cancer Care

Cancer and cancer treatments may cause nutrition-related side effects. Ensuring proper nutrition before, during, and after treatment can help patients feel better and stay stronger. Lack of key nutrients can cause patients to be weak, tired, and unable to resist infections or withstand cancer therapies. Consuming inadequate protein and too few calories are the most common nutrition problems facing many cancer patients. Protein and calories are important for healing, fighting infection and providing energy, thus protein-and calorie-dense foods should be emphasized in the diet. Nutritional supplementation with selected vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can help cancer patients get the micronutrients also needed to maintain strength, prevent body tissue from breaking down, rebuild tissue, heal wounds, fight infection and recover from surgery.

Physician Recommendations

The specific supplements recommended by the Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation are intended to address key nutritional areas that can be compromised in patients with conditions such as cancer, heart disease and other metabolic disorders. Individuals with family history of these disorders may also benefit from taking certain supplements to support healthy metabolism.

For maximum tolerance and benefit, these supplements are free of common allergens such as are found in wheat, corn and yeast. No lactose is present. No artificial colors, sweeteners, flavorings, or preservatives are used. The products are manufactured in strict compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs).

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