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Now for some interesting news in the world of nutrition!
I just read this study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and had to share it with you. (To read the abstract directly, click here.) I found this study to be shocking, and would like it to make headlines since it's a very serious issue.
Researchers tracked over 35,000 cancer-free, Swedish women for over 9 years to observe if multivitamin use was correlated with breast cancer. During that time, almost 1,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and these women were 19% more likely to have been taking a multivitamin supplement over the years. In other words, multivitamin use was shown not to prevent breast cancer, but to increase its likelihood.
The association did not differ significantly by hormone receptor status of the breast tumor.
In the words of the study's authors: "These results suggest that multivitamin use is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This observed association is of concern and merits further investigation." I would say so!
Why would taking a multivitamin over the years make cancer more likely? Because antioxidant nutrients, which include many vitamins and minerals found in multivitamins, when taken in supplemental - or pill - form, act as pro-oxidants. Pro-oxidants are compounds that increase free radical formation, and free radicals cause cancer.
Antioxidant nutrients and compounds found in food do not act as pro-oxidants, which is why eating healthy food helps to prevent cancer.