Nutrition for Multiple Myeloma
It is a good idea to talk with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or taking any additional supplements. The content on this page is for information purposes, and not any kind of recommendation or promotion of products.
Diet Guidelines, This diet is used to help decrease the amount of bacteria
a person who has a weakened immune system eats, including multiple myeloma
(PDF, from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center)
The Right Diet May Offer Myeloma Prevention (From Everyday Health)
Iron to help with anemia
The following foods contain iron:
- bell pepper
- Brussels sprouts
- sweet potatoes
- tropical fruits, such as mango, papaya, pineapple, and guava
- lean red meat
Be sure to include fiber in your diet, whole grains, legumes, beans
Fats (from: The Good, The Bad And The Multiple Myeloma)
- Reduce your consumption of red meat, whole milk, butter, and eggs, as these are the primary source of saturated fats.
- Use olive oil (extra virgin is best) when not cooking
- Canola oil is good for cooking and baking.
- Coconut oil is good for frying.
- Check the ingredient list on food labels and avoid anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, which are usually found in stick margarine, shortenings, salad dressings, and other packaged foods. Choose nonfat dairy products and eggs that have been fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Add nuts and seeds to cereal, salads, soups, or other dishes. Good choices include walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, pecans, and sesame seeds.
- Trim the fat off of meat when you do eat it, and avoid eating the skin of the chicken.
Sodium and Salt
Because multiple myeloma affects kidneys, sodium may need to be limited. If your sodium needs to be reduced, it is a good idea to examine food labels for the amount of sodium per unit.
To calculate the salt content, find the sodium content in milligrams (mg)
found in the nutritional facts label.
Then divide this mg amount by 0.4 (salt is 40% sodium) and then multiply by the weight in grams of the food per serving.
Finally, multiply this number by 0.10 (a conversion factor) to get the percent salt.
Which lower-sodium foods taste best? (from Consumer Reports)
Mrs. Dash seasonings are sodium free
Trader Joe's has a number of low sodium products, including salsa
Hunt's has no salt added ketchup
Sodium Girl, Adventures in a low sodium life, lots of tips and recipes
Example: Olive Garden (on restaurant sites, this may be on the bottom of the page or in the sitemap)
Pesto Alfredo has 1120 mg of sodium, but a Marinara sauce has 720 mg. You can request the sauce on the side and only use a portion of it.
House salad with standard dressing: 740 mg
House salad without the dressing: 250 mg. You may request vinegar and oil to be brought to the table, which contain 0 mg of sodium.
Eat This, Not That (these books analyze what is healthy to eat for a variety of products)
Spices and Turmeric
Garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, basil, rosemary, and coriander add a cancer-fighting nutrients.
Turmeric (containing curcumin)
Patients should not take turmeric capsules without first consulting with their doctor.
Turmeric combined with piperine, found in black pepper, increases the absorption of curcumin by a significant factor (reportedly up to 1000 times)
Turmeric Health Benefits: Have a Happy New Year With Turmeric (Huffington Post)
People who have obstructed bile ducts or gallstones should not take curcumin as well as those taking blood-thinning drugs such as coumadin (Reference: Margaret's Corner Blog)
Turmeric and Curcumin, talk was given at LearnMMORE About Myeloma (11:38 minutes)
Reishi, a hardwood tree mushroom, has been shown in some studies to have an effect on multiple myeloma. Since reishi is usually in a capsule, the patient should check with their physician if they are receiving any treatment to see if they may take the supplement.
A pure, organic source of reishi is available from Host Defense.
Reishi is sold in the Madison area at:
- Willy St. Coop
- Community Pharmacy
Technical article at: http://tinyurl.com/ljsbh7.
If you live in the country, have your water tested for agricultural chemicals. If there are agricultural chemicals present, you may have to look into bottled water or a filter
Bottled water should have been treated to be safe, reverse osmosis treated, distilled and filtered through an absolute 1 micron or smaller filter or “one micron absolute.”
Check and see if your city water is safe, and what has been added to it.
Links for Madison and Dane County
Dane County Water Testing (Public Health Madison and Dane County)
Madison & Dane County Environmental Report Card - 2012 (PDF - see page 27 for water quality)
Sugar, from IMF
From the IMF: "The sugar/insulin balance is under very tight control in the body. One key point is to avoid what is called "glucose intolerance," when sugar and insulin levels are out of sync. Dexamethasone and other steroids push the body toward glucose intolerance. That is why patients taking dexamethasone need to track blood sugar and use medication such as metformin (Glucophage) to control insulin/sugar levels as needed. The relationship between sugar and insulin may be important and related to myeloma cell growth, since insulin has been shown to trigger sugar uptake and myeloma cell growth in laboratory experiments.
Michael Pollan's "Food
Rules: An Eater's Manual" provides an excellent guide.
Reduce meat consumption
Research shows that vegetarians are about fifty percent less likely to develop
cancer than those who eat meat.
Choose leaner meats, such as fish, chicken, or turkey. If possible, buy organic.
From The Myeloma Beacon Forums, there seems to be a link between dairy products
and multiple myeloma
Diet, dairy and multiple myeloma
An article suggests it may help myeloma cells to flourish,
Raw food, because the immune system is compromised, avoid raw fish, unpasturized foods such as apple juice, raw eggs, and so on.
Acrylamide in Food and Cancer Risk from National Cancer Institute
- Researchers found acrylamide in certain foods that were heated to a temperature above 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit), but not in foods prepared below this temperature.
- Potato chips and French fries were found to contain higher levels of acrylamide.
- Cookies can contain acrylamide (from the International Myeloma Foundation)
Other food products
- Aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) found in soft drinks
- Caramel coloring chemicals: 4-methylimidazole (4MI)
- Excess sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup
- Phosphate preservatives
- Pesticides: many foods, organic is better
- Hormones in meat: beef and lamb
- Diammonium phosphate in white bread
- BPA (bisphenol A) from plastics
Scores of Baked Goods Contain Possible Cancer-Causing Additive (potassium Bromate)
Avoid Dry Cleaning
The Real Reason to Ditch Dry Cleaning (from Rodale Wellness)
Avoid or limit dark brown and black permanent and semi permanent hair dyes, which contain carcinogens (from Rodale Wellness)
Diet and Multiple Myeloma: Danny Parker’s dietary recommendations
Diet tips from Healthline
Ted Talks William Li Diet
and Cancer video (20 minutes long)