In a recent study, researchers found common antioxidant supplements are linked to cancer growth.
The cancers include lung cancer and skin cancer.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Many people take antioxidant supplements to protect against cancer.
The idea is that antioxidants prevent cancer because they neutralize so-called free radicals.
However, this idea has been challenged by several recent studies. They found that antioxidants protect not only healthy cells in the body but also cancer cells.
There is some evidence that the intake of antioxidant supplements is linked to increased tumor growth.
In the current study, the team tested animals and human cancer tissue.
They confirmed that some antioxidants may boost the growth of the severe type of skin cancer. In addition, antioxidant supplants may increase the spread of lung cancer.
The researchers examined how lung cancer and melanoma in mice and human cancer cells respond to compounds in antioxidants.
The found that the compounds did not inhibit cancer. On the contrary, the mice’s skin tumors grew much faster than in the control animals that received no antioxidants.
Based on the finding, the team suggests that taking antioxidant supplements is not the way to treat cancer.
In the best case, the treatment makes no difference, but it may make the symptoms worse.
They remind people who still think that dietary supplements with antioxidants are healthy for the body to talk with their doctors about taking supplements.
For people who already have cancer, because antioxidants may contribute to increased tumor growth, it is better to stop using the supplements.
One study author is Kristell Le Gal Beneroso, Ph.D. in medicine from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. The work is part of her thesis work.
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