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Multivitamins and Breast Cancer

Multivitamins and Breast Cancer

A new study has found out that multivitamins and breast cancer are associated. However, the substantiality of this research has not yet been proven, and it is still a subject of debate.
Marlene Alphonse
Many individuals take multivitamins in order to thwart diseases related to deficiency and other serious disorders. A daily dose is good for health, as it ensures that the body obtains the essential nutrients that it does not gain from food. A single pill everyday is said to improve the overall health and prevent heart diseases, and sometimes, even cancer. There are many supplements that can fulfill the recommended dietary allowance of nutrients in women. However, a recent observational study that was conducted revealed that multivitamins increased the risk of breast cancer, especially in women who were in their post menopausal stage. But the research does not have any proof that the two are related.

Vital Information

Breast cancer is the second most occurring cancer that is diagnosed in women all around the world. Women tend to take multivitamins, specially after menopause in order to supplement the dip in nutrients in their body. Though they maintain a balance of nutrients, some of the ingredients in these pills may be linked to cancer. While conducting research, studies have shown that women who are above the age of 40 and who are taking supplements, are more prone to this deadly disorder as compared to other women of the same age group. This research has been going on for a decade, and approximately 35,000 women have been reviewed. The factors, like age, weight, family history, and other habits, like drinking and smoking were taken into consideration during the research period. The diet, supplement intake, and exercise regimen of these women were also monitored. After some years, the women aged between 45 and 85 years who took these supplements on a regular basis were reportedly suffering from different stages of breast cancer. These women were 20 percent more susceptible to this disease than the women who never used multivitamins.

Though the research could not prove the relationship between the two, it has shown a slight possibility of contracting the condition if there is an overuse of supplements. Researchers have also found biologically plausible reasons that can associate increased risk of getting the disease with the use of these supplements. There are certain ingredients in these supplements that can trigger the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Folic acid, which is the main component, tends to increase the density of tissues in the breasts, which can stimulate the growth of cancer. Iron and zinc are also known to increase the risk of this life-threatening disease. However, this reason is still debatable. The research also showed that vitamins B6, C, and E did not alter the body conditions. Calcium also did not have any link, and in fact, it acts as shield to protect the body from the attack of cancerous cells.

Preventive Measures

Breast cancer is one such disease that can be a threat to life if not detected in time. In order to prevent this disease, maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a balanced diet, including lots of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding smoking and alcohol is essential. Following a proper exercise regimen will be helpful to cut the extra flab in the body. In case you need to take any nutritional supplements, consult a health care practitioner who will guide you correctly on what extra supplements are needed by your body.

A healthy and varied diet can reduce the need for taking supplements in any form, and hence reduce the risk of this condition. It is always better to consult a physician before taking any medication or supplement to keep unnecessary side effects and complications at bay.

Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.