The amount of evidence of whether vitamins and supplements help with cancer are growing.
Cancer is a very complex and deadly health condition that involves many factors such as environmental, genetics and lifestyle.
It is very difficult to pin down on whether taking one or more nutritional supplements would work to prevent or treat cancer. But it doesn't stop researchers from attempting to find out the truth.
Below is a collection of articles on herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements that are used by many people around the world for the prevention and treatment of cancer.
Natural Remedies for Cancer - The Complete List, fully rated
Natural Herbs for Cancer Treatment - Herbs only
Vitamins for Cancer Prevention and Treatment - Vitamins only
Many research studies are showing conflicting results on the benefits of using vitamins and minerals for cancer prevention.
For example, using selenium for cancer prevention is very popular.
But a Cochrane systemic review showed that there is no convincing evidence that taking selenium prevents cancer.
Most of the suggestive evidence for using supplements for cancer prevention comes from population studies. This is a type of research study that looks at tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands of people) living in different areas.
The researchers then attempt to gather data such as what they eat, supplements they take, blood levels of various minerals and vitamins from hospital visit data, visits to the doctors, etc.
From all these data, the researchers look for any relationships. For example, some studies have found that people with lower than normal selenium levels seem to have higher risk of developing, say breast cancer.
But this relationship only holds true if all the other variables are equal. This is rarely the case in popular studies. The reason is because there is limited control in the selection of the data and the design of the study. In population studies, you are basically "averaging" the results out over your entire set of data.
Here is a hypothetical example
You found that the Asian population has a lower risk of colon cancer in general. Looking at what they eat, you discover most of them take the supplement ginseng for longevity and general health.
As a researcher, you conclude that the herb ginseng seems to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
But later, another research group discover that Asians also drink a lot of green tea compared to the general populations. So this group reports that drinking green tea is linked to a lower risk of colon cancer.
Then, another group discover that Asians love to eat foods that have a high fiber content compared to the rest of the world.
Moreover, after dinner, they often go shopping for at least one hour and often run (not just walk) to grab the best deals. So the researchers conclude that increased physical activity after a large meal high in fiber reduces the risk of colon cancer.
We think you get the picture. There are many variables that researchers cannot control when doing a population study.
Just keep these thoughts in mind when you are searching for supplements for cancer prevention or treatment. There may not be any one substance that will do the job in preventing cancer. Perhaps, you may need to take all of them together?
We will mention the most obvious and boring things here.
Eat a balance diet
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Eat less meat and choose lean meat
Avoid saturated fats
Do not smoke
Increase physical activity
Get enough rest
We won't be surprised if you say, "yah, yah, I know that already".
Yes! To discover all the natural remedies used around the world for the treatment and prevention of cancer, see the article below.
Dosage information obtained from herbalists and natural health practitioners are included.