Protein Powder and Supplements: Are These Safe to Use During Myeloma Treatment?

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Topics include: Living With Multiple Myeloma

Are supplements helpful or harmful to myeloma patients? Oncology dietitian Alexa Welch, from the University of Iowa Health Care, gives expert advice on the use of supplements during multiple myeloma treatment. Tune in to hear Alexa discuss the safety of dietary and herbal supplements and share tips for patients who use protein powders.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power. We thank AbbVie, Inc., Celgene Corporation, and Takeda Oncology for their support.

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Transcript

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:                     

What about the health food store or the pharmacy about dietary supplements, comments about that?

Alexa Welch:              

Yeah. So, one thing to be careful about, any over-the-counter supplements like that are not FDA regulated. So, you want to be careful that if you’re taking any dietary supplements, herbal supplements, any extra vitamins C, A or whatever, that you’re clearing that with your doctor, your physician, your pharmacist, talking to your medical team about that and making sure that they’re okay with you taking those extra supplements. 

Again, they’re not FDA-regulated. So, just because they say something is in it, that hasn’t been tested. So, you want to be very careful about that. Some of those supplements can interact with certain chemo drugs or certain medications that you might be on every day. So, you want to again, clear that with your pharmacist or a physician to make sure that it’s okay if you’re gonna take any supplements like that.

Andrew Schorr:          

So, when I go to the gym, they have a little store in the front, and they have those huge jars of protein powder. So, you’re saying even that check with my doctor?

Alexa Welch:              

Yeah, especially, you want to make sure if you're gonna do the protein powders like that, you want to make sure that it's a brand that you trust. So, in general, bigger brands like, Walmart's brand or some of them, like Abbott who we get Ensure from, they have their own brand of protein, some bigger brands like that are gonna be ones that you can trust because if they were putting—you know you hear myths about people having actually sawdust in their protein powder instead of real protein powder.

So, those are the kinds of things you want to avoid. Usually big companies like that are more trustworthy because if they were found to have bad ingredients in their protein powder, they would have more to lose essentially and some of the little companies are buying them online that you don’t want to necessarily trust. 

In general, if it says 100 percent whey protein or 100 percent so protein, those are a little bit more trustworthy. And always, again, a good idea to run it by your doctor and make sure they’re okay with it or ask a dietician to read the label for you. Some grocery stores have dieticians that work there, some gyms have dietitians. So, use your resources.

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 June 28, 2019