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However, other studies have not shown increased oxidative damage or increased cancer risk with high intakes of vitamin C [ 8 , 89 ]. Other reported effects of high intakes of vitamin C include reduced vitamin B12 and copper levels, accelerated metabolism or excretion of ascorbic acid, erosion of dental enamel, and allergic responses [ 8 ]. However, at least some of these conclusions were a consequence of assay artifact, and additional studies have not confirmed these observations [ 8 ].
Long-term intakes of vitamin C above the UL may increase the risk of adverse health effects. The ULs do not apply to individuals receiving vitamin C for medical treatment, but such individuals should be under the care of a physician [ 8 ].
Vitamin C supplements have the potential to interact with several types of medications. A few examples are provided below. Individuals taking these medications on a regular basis should discuss their vitamin C intakes with their healthcare providers. The safety and efficacy of the use of vitamin C and other antioxidants during cancer treatment is controversial [ 52 , 90 , 91 ].
Some data indicate that antioxidants might protect tumor cells from the action of radiation therapy and chemotherapeutic agents, such as cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, carmustine, busulfan, thiotepa, and doxorubicin [ 53 , 90 , 92 , 93 ]. At least some of these data have been criticized because of poor study design [ 51 ]. However, due to the physiologically tight control of vitamin C, it is unclear whether oral vitamin C supplements could alter vitamin C concentrations enough to produce the suggested effects.
Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiation should consult with their oncologist prior to taking vitamin C or other antioxidant supplements, especially in high doses [ 53 ]. It is not known whether this interaction occurs with other lipid-altering regimens [ 53 ].
Healthcare providers should monitor lipid levels in individuals taking both statins and antioxidant supplements [ 53 ]. The federal government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans notes that "Nutritional needs should be met primarily from foods. Foods in nutrient-dense forms contain essential vitamins and minerals and also dietary fiber and other naturally occurring substances that may have positive health effects.
In some cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful in providing one or more nutrients that otherwise may be consumed in less-than-recommended amounts. For more information about building a healthy diet, refer to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the U. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate. This fact sheet by the Office of Dietary Supplements ODS provides information that should not take the place of medical advice.
We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc. Any mention in this publication of a specific product or service, or recommendation from an organization or professional society, does not represent an endorsement by ODS of that product, service, or expert advice. March 2, History of changes to this fact sheet. Strengthening Knowledge and Understanding of Dietary Supplements. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C.
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Should supplemental antioxidant administration be avoided during chemotherapy and radiation therapy? Antioxidants and cancer therapy: J Clin Oncol ; According to Women to Women, smoking weakens the immune system. There is also a link between cigarette smoking and cervical cancer, which is caused by HPV. Take your vitamins, especially vitamins A, C, E and calcium. Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
A study published in the "International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer" found that patients who took multivitamins that included these supplements had a lower viral load of HPV. Folic acid can also help boost the immune system and protect against HPV. A study in "Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention" found that women with lower folate levels were more likely to have high-risk HPV infections. Find ways to minimize stress or effectively handle stress.
Stress can weaken the immune system, but there are ways to manage it. Stress is present in everyone's life, but deep breathing, yoga, talking to a friend about problems and regular physical activity are all ways to minimize stress and feel calmer.
Maintaining a healthy weight, participating in regular exercise and getting enough sleep are all ways to help strengthen the immune system, says Harvard Health Publications. These may seem like little things, but they can have a big impact on your immunity.