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Home / Staying Healthy / Diet and Nutrition / Dietary supplements harmful; may cause cancer: Study

Dietary supplements harmful; may cause cancer: Study

A recent study warns that millions across the globe taking dietary supplements to boost their health may be doing more harm than good in reality; for dietary supplements may cause cancer.

Scientists participating in the study claim that supplement pills and capsules like folic acid, vitamin-D and calcium do not decrease risk of developing cancer. Anti-oxidant pills which are said to contain natural chemicals aimed at boosting general health like beta-carotene, and vitamin-C and E may actually promote cancer.

The findings of the study published in the journal of National Cancer Institute cautioned individuals of the ill-effects of such pills or capsules; and termed them as “two-edged sword” which can do more harm than good.

People are driven to use dietary supplements with the assumption that it will improve their overall health and protect them against diseases. The least they would expect is that the same supplements become detrimental to their health. Researchers believe that consumers are being misled by manufacturers of supplemental products who sometimes claim health benefits which wrongly include prevention of cancer.

In UK, one-third of the total number of adults subscribe to some form of dietary supplement which they consume most days. This industry is worth almost 675 million pounds per year. Dr Carrie Ruxton from Health Supplements Information Service clarified that dietary supplements are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Yinka Ebo, senior health information officer at Cancer Research, UK stated that such scientific evidence available should influence people to think twice before subscribing to dietary supplements.

The best manner to get a complete range of vitamins and minerals is by indulging in consumption of a healthy and balanced diet including fruits and vegetables. Healthy people need not subscribe to supplements of any kind.

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