Dietary supplements and cancer prevention: Balancing potential benefits against proven harms

María Elena Martínez, Elizabeth T. Jacobs, John A. Baron, James R. Marshall, Tim Byers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nutritional supplementation is now a multibillion-dollar industry, and about half of all US adults take supplements. Supplement use is fueled in part by the belief that nutritional supplements can ward off chronic disease, including cancer, although several expert committees and organizations have concluded that there is little to no scientific evidence that supplements reduce cancer risk. To the contrary, there is now evidence that high doses of some supplements increase cancer risk. Despite this evidence, marketing claims by the supplement industry continue to imply anticancer benefits. Insufficient government regulation of the marketing of dietary supplement products may continue to result in unsound advice to consumers. Both the scientific community and government regulators need to provide clear guidance to the public about the use of dietary supplements to lower cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-739
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Volume104
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 16 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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