People take daily vitamin supplements for a variety of reasons. Many believe that vitamins will serve as an insurance policy of sorts should they not be consuming the necessary vitamins and minerals through their diets. Others believe that vitamin supplements will ease certain ailments or help prevent diseases, such as cancer. Beliefs such as these have helped the dietary supplements business become a billion-dollar industry.
There have been many clinical studies conducted to look into the correlation between vitamin supplements and the prevention of certain types of cancer. Understanding the results can be confusing. There is no magic formula for consuming a broad-spectrum vitamin supplement to serve as a blanket remedy for preventing cancer. However, there have been some studies that show certain vitamins may help lower risk for specific cancers. For example, a study published in 2010 found women who had high levels of vitamin A and C in their bodies, whether from diet or supplement use, had fewer cases of cervical cancer compared to women with lower levels of these vitamins. Vitamin B6 has been known to have various benefits, including reducing a person’s risk of developing lung, breast and colon cancer. Those with high blood levels of B6 have a lower risk, but there is no proof that taking B6 supplements will have the same benefits. Some studies indicate that vitamin E supplements may reducemen’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Studies in the 1970s suggested that high doses of vitamin C could be an alternative cancer treatment, says The Mayo Clinic. These findings were debunked when it was discovered the research methods used to reach the conclusions were flawed. Subsequent studies did not corroborate the 1970s results. However, more attention is now being paid to administering vitamin C intravenously, which has different effects than when the vitamin is taken orally. Until clinical trials are completed, researchers cannot say for sure if intravenous vitamin C will be the new all-natural cancer cure.
It is important to note that taking vitamin supplements at the suggested levels recommended should be relatively safe for most people. Individuals should not super-dose vitamins in an effort to achieve better health results. Also, people should discuss any vitamin supplement use with doctors, as some supplements may cause potentially harmful interactions with certain medications.