Dietary supplement use may be beneficial for quality of life of cancer survivors, says recent study


A recent study, funded by Pharmavite, found that that dietary supplement usage may have a positive impact on the quality of life of cancer patients.

Photo © LiSa

Photo © LiSa

A recent study1, funded by Pharmavite (West Hills, CA), the makers of Nature Made vitamins and supplements, and published in the journal Cancer found that that dietary supplement usage may have a positive impact on the quality of life of cancer patients. The aim of the study was to provide a cost-effectiveness analysis of dietary supplementation in cancer survivors, who are at risk of malnutrition. Researchers estimated the prevalence of supplementation, hospitalization rates, quality of life (QOL), cost of care and mortality among cancer survivors.

Results showed that the probability of hospitalization for dietary supplement users was 12%, and 20.7% for those who do not report dietary supplement usage. The probability of dying during the follow-up period for dietary supplement users was 5.8% without hospitalization in the past year, and 27.3% with hospitalization. For non-users, the probability of dying without hospitalization was 6.6% and 28.7% with hospitalization. Supplement use was estimated to cost $3,650 over 10 years, with a cost of $1.00 a day. Sensitivity analysis utilizing the lower and upper bounds of life expectancy and incremental costs found that after six years of supplement use, the benefit of lower hospitalization rates among dietary supplement users outweighs the cost of dietary supplementation.

"While achieving adequate nutrition through food remains the gold standard, filling key nutrient gaps through food alone continues to present as a challenge for the larger population, let alone people whose cancer impacts the ability to consume and absorb nutrients, even after treatments subside," said Susan Mitmesser, PhD, vice president, Science & Technology, Pharmavite, in a press release. "This study reveals the need for dietary supplementation to be part of the post-treatment conversation between patients and their health care providers."


  1. Shaver AL et al. “Cost-effectiveness of nutrient supplementation in cancer survivors.” Cancer, vol. 13, no. 24 (2021): 6276
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