Consumers are always looking for ways to minimize their cancer risk, which is one reason why many turn to over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements. But new research finds that while companies promote dietary supplements for their cancer-prevention benefit, some may end up doing more harm than good.
Dr. Tim Byers, director for cancer prevention and control at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, conducted a meta-analysis of two decades worth of research — 12 trials that involved more than 300,000 people — and found a number of supplements actually made a person much more likely to develop certain types of cancer.
Byers began his investigation on the association between supplements and cancer risk 20 years ago. He and many other researchers observed that people who ate more fruits and vegetables cut their risk for cancer. Byers and his colleagues wondered if taking supplements that provide the same vitamins and minerals as fruits and vegetables could offer similar protection.