- There’s insufficient evidence to suggest that nutritional supplements, including minerals, herbs, and other botanical substances, can prevent cancer effectively.
- A balanced, plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans can provide vital nutrients to help decrease the risk of diseases such as cancer.
- Although supplements can be beneficial in certain scenarios like pregnancy, nursing, vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis, and B-12 deficiency, they should not replace a nutritious diet.
- If considering supplements, always consult with a healthcare professional to ensure safety and suitability to personal nutritional needs.
With the surge in popularity of nutritional supplements among Americans, it is essential to exercise caution and educate oneself in their use, especially with a goal to lower the risk of cancer. This advice comes from leading researchers in the field.
“Insufficient evidence is available regarding the cancer preventative efficiency of minerals, herbs, and other botanical substances encapsulated in pills, capsules, or in liquid form,” shares Sally Scroggs, renowned Health Education Manager at the Cancer Prevention Center of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Medical Center.
Can Supplements Prevent Cancer?
Vitamins such as E and C have not been validated as cancer preventing agents according to the extensive Women’s Health Study and the Physicians’ Health Study II. Additional studies imply that certain supplements could potentially escalate cancer risk by interacting with nutrient equilibrium within the body.
The Power of a Balanced, Plant-Based Diet
“If your diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans, you should be supplying your body with the vital nutrients – fiber, vitamins, and minerals – to decrease your probability of developing diseases such as cancer,” Scroggs recommends. “A pill cannot be a substitution for a nutritious diet,” she adds.
She endorses a diet abundant in foods packed with natural cancer-fending nutrients like beta-carotene, selenium, lycopene, resveratrol, and vitamins A, C, and E.
Are Supplements Ever Beneficial?
Although Scroggs urges caution, she concedes that there might be circumstances where supplements could be beneficial. This is particularly applicable to individuals who are unable to meet their nutrient needs due to food allergies, genetic factors, or chronic illnesses.
Examples include women who are pregnant or nursing, people at risk of vitamin D deficiency or osteoporosis, and those at risk of B-12 deficiency, such as individuals over the age of 50 or vegans who do not include animal products in their diet.
Supplement Use: Consultation is Key
If you are considering the intake of supplements, it is strongly advised to consult with a physician or a qualified dietician. This ensures safe and effective usage tailored specifically to your unique nutritional needs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers more comprehensive knowledge about dietary supplements.