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Diet, Lifestyle and Supplements Shown to Improve Survival in Breast Cancer Patients

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No. 4 (April 6, 2016)

with Dr. James Meschino

Research Topic: Diet, Lifestyle and Supplements Shown to Improve Survival in Breast Cancer Patients
Source: Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment Nov., 2011


The LACE study showed that breast cancer survivors who were in the top 25% of following a healthy lifestyle and who regularly took a multiple vitamin supplement, had a 60-70% reduction in risk of dying from any cause during the study. A healthy lifestyle was defined as a healthy diet (consuming at least 5.5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day) and being at least moderately physically active (being non-sedentary for at least16 hours/week). The results showed that the addition of the multiple vitamin supplement enhanced the survival outcomes by 60-70% in these women, compared to women who followed a healthy lifestyle but did not take a multiple vitamin supplement.

However, in women who didn’t follow a healthy lifestyle (diet remained poor and were largely non-active), the addition of a multiple vitamin supplement alone did not improve survival to any degree.

A previous study, a Shanghai China study that followed 4,877 breast cancer survivors, examined antioxidant supplement use (vitamin C, vitamin E, and/or multivitamins) during the first six months, post-diagnosis. Results showed that supplement use was associated with decreased risk of cancer recurrence by 22% and overall mortality by 18%.

Additional studies are required before any definitive conclusions can be made, but these two large studies provide some very promising results.


Kwan ML, Greenlee H, Lee VS, Castillo EP, Gunderson EP, Habel LA, et al. Multivitamin Use and Breast Cancer Outcomes in Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer: The Life After Cancer Epidemiology (LACE) Study. Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. November 2011; 130(1):195-2015.

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