Poster Topical Area: Diet and Cancer
Poster Board Number: 199
Objectives Cancer survivors reported higher frequencies of dietary supplement use than the general population. It has yet to be determined whether cancer survivors use supplements at higher doses and whether supplement use contributes to a lower prevalence of nutrient intakes < Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) and/or a higher prevalence of nutrient intake ≥ Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) in a representative sample of cancer survivors in the US.
Methods We evaluated the frequency and dosage of supplement use in the past 30 d, the percentage of nutrient intake < EAR or ≥ UL, and reasons of supplement use among 3,764 adult cancer survivors and compared those to 7,330 individuals without a history of cancer who were matched to cancer survivors by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and survey cycle, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2014.
Results Compared to non-cancer individuals, adult cancer survivors reported a higher frequency of any supplement use, multivitamin/mineral supplement use, and individual supplement use for 16 vitamins and 17 minerals. Cancer survivors also reported a higher daily supplement dose for 6 vitamins (vitamin D, vitamin A, retinol, folate, niacin, and calcium) and 6 minerals (calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and nickel) (all P values < 0.05). Supplement use contributed to a lower percentage of intake < EAR for vitamin D (70.4 vs. 73.8%, p=0.001) and vitamin K (65.5 vs. 67.8%, p=0.0487), but also to a higher percentage of intake ≥ UL for folate (25.8 vs. 22.6%, p=0.002), calcium (10.2 vs. 8.49%, p=0.04), niacin (10.0 vs. 8.38%, p=0.02), and vitamin D (2.15 vs. 1.03%, p=0.005) in cancer survivors than non-cancer individuals. Among cancer survivors who used supplements, 48.5% reported using on their own, 25% being advised by doctors, and 26.5% for both. The top five reasons for taking supplements among cancer survivors were to improve overall health, to maintain health, to support bone health, to supplement the diet, and for heart health.
Conclusions Cancer survivors reported a higher frequency and greater doses of dietary supplement use than the general population. While supplement use in this population contributes to reducing intakes < EAR for some nutrients, it can also increase the prevalence of intakes ≥ UL for others.
Graduate Research Assistant
Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy