Lung cancer: Signs and symptoms to look out for
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Lung cancer is one of the most common types, with around 47,000 people receiving bad news of this diagnosis yearly. The tricky part about lung cancer is that there are usually no symptoms pointing to the condition in the early stages. Now, research has linked an immunity-boosting supplement to a higher risk of this condition.
Supplements are being heavily scrutinised in recent years due to their side effects.
Many experts argue that the benefits they offer aren’t worth the risks.
Certain supplements have been singled out, showing they can increase the risk of severe health conditions.
Researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center have shared that over-the-counter supplements may actually increase cancer risk if taken in excess of the recommended daily amount.
The culprit found to raise the risk of lung cancer by up to 20 percent is beta carotene.
In case you’re not familiar, beta carotene is a red-orange pigment found in various plants and fruits converted to vitamin A in the body.
Probably best-known for high beta carotene content is carrot.
The supplement version of this pigment promises to boost immunity and keep the skin healthy.
The study linking the supplement to higher cancer risk reviewed various trials that involved thousands of patients.
Taking place over two decades, the research has found that taking more than the recommended dose can increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
Ironically, it started with the researchers wanting to see if taking extra vitamins and minerals could cut cancer risk.
The results brought an unexpected twist.
One of the researchers Tim Byers said: “We found that the supplements were actually not beneficial for their health.
“In fact, some people actually got more cancer while on the vitamins.”
Apart from boosting the cancer risk, beta carotene was also found to increase the risk of heart disease in the same trial when exceeding the recommended limit.
Byers added: “This is not to say that people need to be afraid of taking vitamins and minerals.
“If taken at the correct dosage, multivitamins can be good for you. But there is no substitute for good, nutritional food.”
The NHS shares the same message. They warn that taking too much or taking supplements for too long can be “harmful”.
The health body adds that most people don’t actually need supplements and should get all their vitamins and nutrients from a healthy diet.
Byers concluded: “At the end of the day we have discovered that taking extra vitamins and minerals do more harm than good.”
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