In 1994, one trial followed the lives of 29,133 Finish people in their 50s who all smoked. Some were given beta-carotene supplements. The group that supplemented with Beta-carotene had a 16% increase in lung cancer.
Another study shows a breast cancer increase of 20% for postmenopausal women who supplemented with folic acid.
One study with 100 heavy smokers had a 28% increase in lung cancer after just four years of beta-carotene and vitamin A supplementation.
Millions of people swear by vitamin supplements. But many are wasting their time and some could even be harming themselves, argues Dr Chris van Tulleken. In November 1912 a party of three men and 16 dogs set out from a remote base in eastern Antarctica to explore a series of crevasses many hundreds of miles away.
"Spanish Influenza - what it is and how it should be treated," read the reassuringly factual headline to an advert for Vick's VapoRub back in 1918. The text beneath included nuggets of wisdom such as "stay quiet" and "take a laxative". Oh, and to apply their ointment liberally, of course.
While over-the-counter medicines provide us with a so-called ‘relief’ by suppressing our fever, runny nose and other ‘symptoms’, these are in fact necessary for the body to get well. The symptoms we want to be stopped are not our enemy:
The mucus is helping flush out the pathogen.
The fever(heat) makes the body impalpable for it to survive and replicate.
The body pain is actually the inflammatory chemicals in your veins, guiding the immune cells like an air traffic controller.
The brain is provided with a signal to slow down and let the body recover.
In Australia's most recent nutrition survey, 29% of people reported having taken at least one dietary supplement. This proportion was even higher in the United States at 52%. A new study out today aimed to examine the benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements for prevention of heart disease, stroke and premature death (termed " all-cause mortality ").