Another One Bites the Dust

by | Aug 8, 2008

A report published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition systematically reviews the data examining whether or not a dietary supplement (this time the antioxidants called carotenoids) has the ability to fight a human disease (this time lung cancer).

Not surprisingly, there was no association found between taking supplements and cancer risk.

Why was this study done? Because people who eat foods that are high in carotenoids do seem to be protected against cancer, but no one is sure of the exact reason why. General Mills would love to tell you that they can add carotenoids to your breakfast cereal and help you prevent cancer, but sadly for the food industry this is not true. But you are the winner here, because you can still get these cancer fighting benefits by having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables!

Bon appetit!!

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3 Responses to “Another One Bites the Dust”

  1. Anonymous says:

    So then whats a good resource for us to know which supplements are efficacious and which are not?

  2. Darya Pino says:

    Anon:Unfortunately there isn’t one. On the internet you can always find someone to tell you to take this or that, but the science just isn’t there. There is probably no harm in taking a mulitvitamin, but there is no guarantee in even that.In general, no supplements are ever as effective as eating a healthy diet, so that is my recommendation. Eat lots of different vegetables, fruits, whole grains and some lean protein and your risk for disease will plummet.There is some debate right now about whether people who don’t get sufficient sun exposure should take vitamin D supplements. And maybe people who don’t eat much fish could benefit from omega-3 supplements. My advice is to follow the research on this one because no one is sure yet.Something to consider is that supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so you are not necessarily getting what it says on the bottle (and sometimes you get the bonus of some contaminants like lead). ConsumerLab.com tests specific supplements for content, so that is a good resource. See my Synapse article for more on dietary supplements.

  3. Darya Pino says:

    Sorry, that link didn’t work. Try this.

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