Vitamin pill 'may do more harm than good'

People who take vitamins to cut their chance of getting cancer could be doing more harm than good, a leading expert has warned.

Consumers have long been advised by different studies that certain vitamins can lower the risk of contracting cancer.

But the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) says there is not enough evidence to support this.

Professor Martin Wiseman, medical and scientific adviser to WCRF, has urged people to eat a healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, rather than rely on supplements.

"Some people may be doing themselves more harm than good," he said.

A new report from the Copenhagen University Hospital found betacarotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality.

Researchers combined results of a number of clinical trials to judge the overall effects of vitamin pills.

They found that in 47 trials involving 180,938 people, antioxidant supplements increased mortality by 5 per cent.

Source: Katy Hastings

ANH comment:

In stark contrast to the news reports just one day earlier that chronic vitamin deficiency was most probably at the heart of the current health crisis, following US based Prof Bruce Ame's lecture at an American Association meeting, comes this report from UK based Prof Martin Wiseman.  Prof Ames urges us to take our supplements to ensure good health and Prof Wiseman urges us to ditch our supplements in favour of a balanced diet, warning of their potential dangers.

Of interest is that Prof Wiseman is the Medical and Scientific Advisor to the World Cancer Research Fund and Project Director for the Expert Report.  The same 'expert' report that appears to trot out the usual suspects - synthetic betacarotene, vitamin A and vitamin E - and regurgitate the same flawed conclusions that we've rebutted time and again.

Consumers could be forgiven for any confusion that arises given the schizophrenic nature of media reporting these days.