Can I Take Antioxidants While Getting Radiation Therapy?

R.N. Georgia Decker answers the question: 'Radiation and antioxidants?'

ByGeorgia Decker, R.N., Advanced Practice Nurse, Albany New York

— -- Question: Can I take antioxidants while getting radiation therapy?

Answer: Taking antioxidants during radiation therapy -- and some examples would be Vitamin E, Vitamin C, co-enzyme Q10, green tea is an example of an antioxidant tea -- during radiation therapy, this is controversial. Radiation therapy is based upon cellular damage, so you are creating those free radicals, but in a purposeful way. The role of antioxidants is to rescue the cells from any damage from free radicals. How much of these vitamins or supplements you can take safely and when, you should discuss with your oncologist; but generally speaking, we have concern about taking antioxidants during radiation therapy.

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