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Taking Nutritional Supplements To Reduce Cancer Risk Is Risky Business

August 19, 2010: 01:56 PM EST
Scientists are still not certain that nutritional supplements such as minerals, herbs and other plants actually reduce the risk of cancer, so consumers should arm themselves with information and maintain a skeptical attitude toward product claims, cancer experts advise. For example, a recent clinical trial testing the effects of selenium and vitamin E found no evidence that it prevented prostate cancer. What’s more, studies have found that nutritional supplements may actually boost the risk of cancer by knocking the body’s nutrient levels off balance. Scientists from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center say healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are rich in essential nutrients like beta-carotene, selenium, lycopene, resveratol, and vitamins A, C, and E. “Taking a pill can’t replace a healthy diet.”
Sally Scroggs, "Nutritional Supplements: What You Should Know", News release, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, August 19, 2010, © University of Texas
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