Vitamin supplements may increase the chances of dying from cancer, a science review finds. And the studies, which compared the health of people who regularly took antioxidant pills with those who took dummy pills, suggest that combinations of beta-carotene with either vitamin A or vitamin E pose the most risk.
The findings, published in the Lancet medical journal, go far further than recent evidence that such pills do no good, and, if confirmed, could severely damage the vitamin industry worldwide.
However, the research review warns against drawing conclusions from work that does not yet provide "convincing proof of hazard", informs Guardian.
According to BBC, Dr Goran Bjelakovic and his colleagues, working at the Copenhagen Trial Unit in Denmark, looked at the supplements beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E and selenium as different combinations or separately.
They compared the rate of gastrointestinal cancers, such as stomach, liver or bowel cancer, among people taking the antioxidant supplements and people taking fake tablets with no active ingredient.
Other than selenium, regular use of antioxidant supplements did not prevent gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.