- Cancer Information
- Living well
- Nutrition and cancer
- Nutrition concerns
- Vitamin and mineral supplements
Vitamin and mineral supplements
Vitamins and minerals are an essential part of a healthy diet and play an important role in the body’s immune system. It’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from eating whole foods, as these are easier for the body to absorb. If you are able to eat a variety of foods, you usually won’t need to take vitamin and mineral supplements.
Some people believe that taking high doses of certain vitamins will strengthen the body’s immune system during cancer treatment. However, there is little evidence to support this claim. In fact, many vitamins and mineral compounds can be toxic at high levels, and may affect how radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other medicines work.
If your appetite is poor, check with your doctor or dietitian before taking any vitamin or mineral supplements.
Jenelle Loeliger, Head of Nutrition and Speech Pathology Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rebecca Blower, Public Health Advisor, Cancer Prevention, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Julia Davenport, Consumer; Irene Deftereos, Senior Dietitian, Western Health, VIC; Lynda Menzies, A/Senior Dietitian – Cancer Care (APD), Sunshine Coast University Hospital, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Janice Savage, Consumer.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Exercise and cancer
Exercise has many benefits both during and after cancer treatment, helping with side effects, speeding up recovery, and improving quality of life
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment