Sunday, 20 May 2012

EXCESS OF DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS INCREASE CANCER RISK



Hello everybody…


Today I was reading, The Hindustan Times, 20th may 2012.

I came across, something really interesting. An article on dietary supplements…. made me explore more on this research...

Let’s us begin from scratch…

DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

Today Nutritional supplementation is a multibillion-dollar industry, and about half of all US adults take supplements. Congress defined the term "dietary supplement" in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a "dietary ingredient" intended to supplement the diet. The "dietary ingredients" in these products may include:
  •  a vitamin,
  • a mineral,
  • an herb or other botanical,
  •  an amino acid,
  • a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake (e.g., enzymes or tissues from organs or glands), or
  •  a concentrate, metabolite, constituent or extract.

They may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders. They can also be in other forms, such as a bar, but if they are, information on their label must not represent the product as a conventional food or a sole item of a meal or diet.

Few years back, it has been estimated that 30-40 percent of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle and dietary measures alone. Intake of flax seed, especially its lignan fraction, and abundant portions of fruits and vegetables will lower cancer risk.  
Protective elements in a cancer prevention diet include selenium, folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, chlorophyll, and antioxidants such as the carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin). Ascorbic acid has limited benefits orally, but could be very beneficial intravenously. Supplementary use of oral digestive enzymes and probiotics also has merit as anticancer dietary measures.
Supplement use is fueled in part by the belief that nutritional supplements can ward off chronic disease, including cancer, although several expert committees and organizations have concluded that there is little to no scientific evidence that supplements reduce cancer risk.
But recently a study conducted by Martinez ME etal 2012, published in The Journal of National Cancer Institute states that there is now evidence that high doses of some supplements increase cancer risk.
Supplements such as beta-carotene, selenium and folic acid if taken at much higher levels than their recommended daily doses, are likely to elevate the risk of developing a host of cancer stated by an article published in THE HINDUSTHAN TIMES, 20th may 2012. 
Tim Byers, MD, MPH, professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health and associate director for prevention and control at the University of Colorado Cancer Center states that "It's not that these nutrients are toxic - they're essential and we need them, but we need them in a certain balance,"
Despite this evidence, marketing claims by the supplement industry continue to imply anticancer benefits.

My verdict
  •   Excess consumption of any dietary supplements is not recommended.
  • Consumer should keep this in mind that excess of anything is bad.
  • Always inform your nutritionist or doctor about the supplements you are consuming.
  • Stop taking dietary supplements if there are any side effects.


Contents courtesy:
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-05-dietary-supplements-cancer.html
The Hindustan Times, health scan, page : 18, 20th may 2012.

Image courtesy: ocw.jhsph.edu, drgeo.com, inetgiant.in.

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