On top of a healthy diet, taking daily supplements can be an easy way to ensure your body gets enough of the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. It’s also reasonably common: According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 57.6 percent of U.S. adults had used one of the pills at any point in the past 30 days. But just like over-the-counter medicine, it’s crucial to follow instructions whenever you’re taking them to make sure you’re not overdoing it. Research has shown that taking too much of one supplement in particular could increase the risk of one type of cancer.
Taking too much selenium and vitamin E raises your risk of cancer considerably.
According to research, it turns out there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to taking a selenium and vitamin E supplement. In one study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in March 2014, researchers analyzed data from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). In total, the team used data from toenail samples collected from 31,117 men to explore whether baseline selenium levels in the body could affect prostate cancer risk.
Results found no correlation between existing levels of selenium or vitamin E in the body and prostate cancer risk. However, the researchers did make a connection between men with high levels of selenium in their systems who took a selenium supplement—whether alone or in combination with vitamin E—finding that such patients were twice as likely to develop high-grade prostate cancer than patients who were taking a placebo, Nature reports.
Taking a vitamin E supplement alone also raised the risk of cancer in some patients.
But there wasn’t just a connection formed between taking a selenium supplement and the risk of prostate cancer. Results also found that just patients who had low baseline selenium levels in their systems and took vitamin E supplements alone were 111 percent more likely to develop high-grade prostate cancer than patients taking a placebo during the study.
Researchers also found that men who started with high selenium levels were no more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who began with low levels. The team says this establishes that added selenium in supplement form and not from food was the reason for the increased cancer risk.
Article by Zachary Mack for BestLife