The researchers found that using the two flavonoids as a pretreatment was more effective than applying them together with the chemotherapeutic drug simultaneously. In fact, applying both the drug and the flavonoids at the same time resulted in a highly undesirable effect.
“Even though the topic is still controversial, our study indicated that taking antioxidant supplements on the same day as chemotherapeutic drugs may negate the effect of those drugs,” said Jodee Johnson, a U of I researcher who worked on the study as a doctoral student in de Mejia’s lab.
“That happens because flavonoids can act as antioxidants,” she added. “One of the ways that chemotherapeutic drugs kill cells is based on their pro-oxidant activity, meaning that flavonoids and chemotherapeutic drugs may compete with each other when they’re introduced at the same time.”