Are Antioxidant Supplements Fueling Cancer?

Antioxidant supplements claim to keep us healthy and protect cells from aging, but could they causing rates of cancer to increase?

The Doctors discuss three studies that have shown an increased risk of cancer when taking antioxidants supplements. One study found men over the age of 50 taking large doses of vitamin E had a 17 percent increased risk of prostate cancer. Another study found that mega doses of beta-carotene increase the risk of cancer in male smokers by 18 percent. A third study that looked at antioxidants in mice found that skin cancer rates increased in the animals when the supplement was given.

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The Doctors warn against taking these supplements in such large doses as the effectiveness and side effects are not known when consumed at higher rates and to also remember that simply because an item is over-the-counter, this does not mean to “pop them like candy” as ER physician Dr. Travis Stork points out. Always, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking supplements.

Instead of supplements, The Doctors recommends getting your antioxidants from your food, real food.

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“If you eat the colors of the rainbow in real food, you’re going to get [them],” Dr. Stork continues.

Some antioxidant-rich foods include Goji berries, wild blueberries, dark chocolate, pecans, artichokes, elderberries, kidney beans, cranberries, blackberries, and cilantro. So when in doubt, go for the berries and veggies over the pills!

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