Ein Mann schaut durch ein Mikroskop

NEM - Prevalence of dietary supplement use in patients with cancer

You are here:

NEM-Study - Project profile


According to growing market sales consumption of dietary supplements (DS) such as phytopharmaceuticals, vitamins and trace elements is increasing, especially in cancer patients. Indeed there is only limited evidence about safety of DS regarding interactions with cancer treatment or even cancer-promoting effects. Furthermore use of DS is frequently not reported by patients. Therefore patients drug history lacks this information which may result in harmful drug interactions or lost of effectiveness.

Aims and Procedure

The aim of this prospective cross-sectional study in cooperation with different specialized doctors practices is to investigate the frequency of DS intake in oncological patients from the age of 18 years. Furthermore the survey describes the type of DS, changes in dietary habits, patients motivation and the relationship between DS use and socio-cultural background, duration of disease as well as media influence.

Innovations and Prospects

Most data on the frequency of DS use in cancer patients comes from abroad, especially the US, while data from Germany is sparse – limited to surveys in supporting groups and cancer centers. In Germany a majority of oncological patients are treated in specialized doctors practices. Here we learn about the frequency of DS intake in this cancer patient population.

Project duration

2017 - 2019

Study coordination

Prof. Kristina Norman

Head of the working roup Nutrition and Body Composition, deputy leader of the Research Group Geriatrics, Professorship Nutrition and Gerontology