Millions of Americans take antioxidant supplements every day, including vitamins C and E. These supplements are often taken in the form of pills or powders, usually containing 100% or more of the daily recommended amounts.

Researchers have found that regular vitamin supplementation with C and E may increase the formulation of blood vessels within lung cancer tumors. This accelerates tumor growth and dispersion, putting at-risk individuals on a fast track toward complicated treatments.

Vitamin C, E, and Cancer

Researchers in Sweden previously established a link between vitamin E supplementation and lung cancer in mice. That work, spearheaded by Martin Bergo at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, convinced experts that additional research was required. The team included vitamin C during its next round of experiments.

The experiment administered increasing doses of vitamins C and E to mice, eventually exceeding advisable levels to support normal cellular health. Bergo was quick to point out that while high, many adults could conceivably hit the levels tested with a healthy diet, supplements, and occasional functional foods like shakes or bars.

As the doses increased, blood vessel development within tumors also increased. Researchers discovered similar results in tumor organoids, or lab-grown balls of cells. These organic structures also reacted to elevated levels of vitamins C and E.

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Should Cancer Patients Take Vitamins?

Bergo and his team were quick to point out that cancer patients or individuals at elevated risk of developing cancer should not avoid healthy foods that may also contain these vitamins. Patients should talk to their personal doctors and oncologists to determine a safe and effective level of antioxidants and general dietary supplementation.

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