Put down your vitamin tablets! it does not prevent cancer


As we all know, vitamins, as one of the six major nutrients, have very low content in natural foods, but they are a very important part of the normal physiological functions of the body. The vitamin family is huge, with dozens of species currently known, and ≥13 species necessary for the human body. Most vitamins cannot be synthesized in the body and need to be absorbed from the outside through food. Each vitamin plays a different function in the human body, and a lack of any one of them can lead to malnutrition and even disease.

Due to the increasing popularity of health concepts, more and more people are paying attention to the role of vitamins. And choose to take in extra vitamins in addition to your daily diet, using nutritional supplements such as vitamin tablets.

But are these vitamins really good for your health? Modern nutritional research may not support this view.

The rise of the concept that vitamins are good for health first came from Reile Pauling and his highly praised vitamin C.

Pauling won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 for his outstanding contributions to the field of chemical bonding, and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962 for his campaign against nuclear weapons. As one of the few two-time Nobel Prize winners, Pauling took a large amount of vitamin C on the recommendation of Irwin Stone (an expert in the field of biochemistry), and thus began his life of entanglement with vitamins.

In his 1970 bestseller How to Live Longer and Feel Better, Pauling argued that vitamin C supplementation could cure the common cold. He consumes 18,000 milligrams (18 grams) of vitamin C per day, 50 times the recommended daily intake.

In 1992, his idea was featured on the cover of Time magazine under the headline "The True Power of Vitamins." He claimed that vitamins could cure cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and even cancer. Even more exciting is that vitamins can help resist the normal laws of human aging.

Up to now, the global market share of vitamin-related health products has exceeded 25 billion. However, there is no authoritative research to confirm the effects mentioned in the promotion of health products.

Take the equally famous vitamin D as an example. In a review published in the top journal BMJ in 2019, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 52 RCTs (controlled clinical studies). The results showed that vitamin D supplementation does not reduce overall mortality. (hazard ratio 0.98, 95% CI 0.95-1.02), and was not significantly associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality or non-cancer, non-cardiovascular mortality.

In addition to the above-mentioned vitamin C and vitamin D, the famous "elixir" in recent years - nicotinamide ribose (NR) has also been confirmed to be potentially harmful. This vitamin B3 subtype found in milk, yeast and beer is currently one of the most studied precursors of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which serves as an important coenzyme in cellular energy metabolism. It plays a central role in oxidative stress, and the decrease in its levels is related to a variety of pathophysiological conditions, including various pathological changes caused by aging.

But while nicotinamide ribose is thought to have many benefits, how and in what amounts nicotinamide ribose is taken up by different cells and tissues remains unknown due to a lack of non-invasive in vivo imaging tools.

At the end of 2022, an international research team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found that improper/excessive supplementation of NR will actually increase the risk of serious diseases, including the occurrence and metastasis of cancer. Elena Goun, the corresponding author of the article, also said that many people have the habit of taking vitamin supplements, and in their opinion, nutritional supplements are beneficial and harmless. However, to a large extent, the health benefits of vitamins are still a "black box", and even scientists know very little about how they work in the human body.

About half a year before this study was published, the top medical journal JAMA also published a major review, emphasizing that vitamin and mineral supplements have little benefit in preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, and death, and even excessive supplementation of some vitamins can increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and death. Cancer risk!

In fact, the possible harm caused by vitamins has been known for a long time. In 2016, the State Food and Drug Administration recently issued a consumer warning to remind consumers that vitamins are health foods that people often come into contact with in their daily lives. However, most people do not understand the general method of taking vitamins. Many people take large amounts of vitamins every day. Vitamins, experts point out, can turn into poison if taken too much.