Can Myeloma Patients Maintain a Strong Immune System Through Diet?

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Can multiple myeloma patients maintain a strong immune system through their diet? What do the experts say about “immune-boosting” supplements? Julie Lanford from CancerDietitian.com discusses the relationship between diet and the immune system, and what food groups patients should focus on for optimal nutrition. Julie also shares what data shows on the use of supplements. Watch now to learn simple, healthy living strategies for better immune function. 

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Andrew Schorr:          

Julie, I'm gonna make a little speech, and then I wanna run it by you. Here's my speech. Danny, listen to this. There are these banners that hang in the health food stores and the vitamin stores about boosting your immunity, and I think most of us with cancer understand that our immune system let us down.

When we started making defective cells that proliferate and didn't die, that's our cancer. Sometimes, there's the supposition from somebody well-meaning, whether it's in the store, or a relative, or whether yourself, well, could we take some immune-boosting thing that we could buy off the shelf from the store, and that's gonna help us fight the cancer? Julie, is there any evidence that you know of that with the supplements and things like that? 

Julie Lanford:              

No, not with supplements. I did a lecture on immune-boosting foods, and it was something that I had to do a lot of research on, "Okay, what's the latest on diet and immunity?" It's hard to link those two, for one thing.

The other thing is when I looked at the good, well done studies and what they're finding is it has more to do with what is your dietary eating pattern. It's not something that you can fix with a pill.

It was really, when we saw patterns of people who ate more fruits and vegetables, who ate a lot of plant foods, who did not eat a lot of animal fats, who did not eat a lot of processed foods.

You compare that to people, we're going there again, who eat very few fruits and vegetables, who eat a lot of processed foods, who eat a lot of meat and dairy products, excess amounts, you compare those two groups, it's clear that we have stronger immune systems when we eat healthier.

There's not significant data showing that pills or supplements can do that, and so that's why I always sort oftarget diet. I think layering on top of that, if you want a multivitamin, or vitamin D, or like Danny was saying, he found, "Well, this is working for me, so I'm not gonna stop it," those are things to layer on top. Your immune-boosting strategy should be really focused on food.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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Page last updated on April 11, 2018