Study: Supplements Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Depending upon whether men have a lot or little of the mineral selenium in their bodies, taking large doses of either selenium or vitamin E can almost double the risk of an aggressive form of prostate cancer, suggests a new study. Vitamin E supplements increase all prostate cancer risk among men with low levels; selenium supplements increase risk among those with high levels.Composition With Variety Of Drug Pills And Dietary Supplements

The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Its findings, somewhat unexpected, adds to a complex body of research on supplements and cancer risk.

AICR currently recommends not relying on supplements to prevent cancer; instead, taking in your nutrients, phytochemicals and other cancer-fighting compounds from food.

The study continues the findings from a large trial that was stopped back in 2008. Called the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), the study was investigating whether selenium and/or vitamin E could lower prostate cancer risk. Both are essential for good health and have antioxidant activity. Continue reading


Supplements a “Waste of Money” for Disease (Cancer) Prevention?

Over half of Americans take supplements, many with the hope of preventing chronic disease and staying mentally sharp. Yet it’s a waste of money, writes a group of physicians in a strongly-worded editorial published today.Supp_canstockphoto7372360

The editorial — stating “Enough is Enough” in the title — was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

For cancer risk, AICR’s expert report and its continuous updates also found there is not enough evidence showing supplements offer protection. AICR recommends not relying on supplements, instead getting in your cancer-protective phytochemicals and nutrients from food.

The editorial cites three major articles. One was an analysis focusing on supplement use and cancer, along with cardiovascular disease, and mortality. That analysis was by the United States Preventive Services Task Force and published last month: we wrote about it here. Continue reading


Analysis: That Supplement May Not Protect Against Cancer, Heart Disease

For cancer prevention, the evidence is pretty clear: vitamins, minerals and other supplements alone don’t work. Not relying on supplements is one of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention — a recommendation made after analyzing the global SuppsInFishShaperesearch.

Now a review of the research supports this conclusion, finding that many popular supplements do not protect against both cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death in America. At least among healthy individuals. And some supplements may possibly cause harm among certain groups of people. The report was published by the US Preventive Task Force, an update to their 2003 report with similar findings.

The analysis reviewed all the new evidence since the last report, collecting only “good quality” studies. At the end of it, there were 26 new studies.

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