Study shows antioxidants do not decrease cancer chances

ROCHESTER, Minn. A meta-analysis published in this month’s Mayo Clinic Proceedings examined the use of antioxidants in preventing cancer. After having reviewed 12 eligible trials that studied in aggregate more than 104,000 patients, the analysis found that antioxidant supplementation did not significantly reduce total cancer incidence, mortality, or any site-specific cancer incidence.

Specifically, the analysis found that beta carotene supplementation was associated with an increase in the incidence of cancer among smokers; selenium supplementation was associated with reduced cancer incidence in men but not in women; and vitamin E supplementation had no apparent effect on overall cancer incidence or cancer mortality.

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