Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Overuse of multivitamins sees rise in cancer and heart disease

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Tim Byers associate director for prevention and control at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, looked at research papers on the subject of vitamin supplements over three decades and found that three of the most commonly taken supplements increase the risk for potentially life-threatening diseases.

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These supplement were vitamin E tablets, beta-carotene and folic acid pills.

"We are not sure why this is happening but evidence shows that people who take more dietary supplements than needed tend to have a higher risk of developing cancer," Dr. Byers said.

"When we first tested dietary supplements in animal models we found that the results were promising. Eventually we were able to move on to humans. We studied thousands of patients for 10 years who were taking dietary supplements and placebos... [and] found that supplements were actually not beneficial for their health.

"In fact, some people actually got more cancer while on the vitamins."

Folic acid in supplement form is believed to be used by about 230,000 pregnant women in the UK every year. While it may help prevent spina bifida and other birth defects that effect the brain and spine, it may also increase the risk of getting cancer by up to 56.

Folic acid also is used to reduce the risk of heart disease and polyps in the colon which may cause cancer, but overuse of the vitamin actually leads to an increase in the number of polyps.

Taking more than the recommend daily dose of beta-carotene also showed an increase in the risk of developing lung cancer and heart disease by 20 percent, and taking too much vitamin E also increases the risk of developing prostate cancer by 17 percent.

Source: http://www.catholic.org/files/images/ins_news/2015045753vitamins-p.jpg

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