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Multi-Vitamins May Increase Health Risks

Mix of vitamins and herbal supplements on white background

Scientists at the University of Colorado in the U.S have discovered that taking vitamins above the recommended daily allowance (RDA) may increase the risk of developing cancer.  The Food Safety Authority in Ireland (FSAI) wants to put regulations in place across the EU in order to prevent the spread of cancer occurring in people.  Customers will be guided towards not taking vitamins above the RDA.  Mary Flynn FSAI’s Chief Executive in Public Health Nutrition said that the new regulations “have to look at supplements and fortified foods together.” The study revealed that people who eat a variety of fruit and vegetables have a decreased risk of developing cancer.  The study suggested that it is better to get your vitamins from the natural food source as opposed to getting them from vitamin supplements.

Tim Byers Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control at the University of Colorado said that “When we first tested dietary supplements in animal models we found that the results were promising.” “Eventually we were able to move on to the human populations. We studied thousands of patients for ten years who were taking dietary supplements and placebos.” We were surprised at the findings. “We found that the supplements were actually not beneficial for their health. In fact, some people actually got more cancer while on the vitamins,” explains Byers.

Byers concluded that if people are taking their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of supplements then they don’t need to worry about getting cancer.  He said it is healthier to get your vitamins from their natural food source, but taking a multivitamin can be good for you. Most people get their nutrients from fortified foods, particularly cereals.  This can help people to obtain adequate supplies of iron from their food.  Regulations in the EU have monitored the right levels of nutrients which have being put into food.

Matthew Lederman Medical Adviser with the dietary website ‘Forks over Knives’ said that taking vitamin A, beta carotene, folic acid, iron, selenium and vitamin E can be harmful when taking them in a supplement form.  However consuming these vitamins in their natural food form is extremely nutritious.

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