What are Dietary Supplements?
Dietary supplements are products that contain “dietary ingredients” and if you’re a person who doesn’t like certain foods — they sound terrific!
Many supplements claim they can deliver all your necessary vitamins and minerals, while others claim to offer levels of micronutrients beyond what is usually achievable through diet alone. Unfortunately, research shows that the “dietary ingredients” in supplements don’t offer the same benefits as eating whole-foods.
Do Cancer Prevention Supplements Work?
AICR recommends not using supplements for cancer prevention. When you eat whole foods, your body absorbs a range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that get to work together to protect your health. But when a vitamin, fiber or antioxidant is isolated into a supplement, research suggests it may not be absorbed as well by your body as natural foods.
While every individual is different, overall, research shows that supplements do not offer cancer protection or provide benefits to survivors worried about recurrence. In some cases, supplements may even be harmful.
Diet over Supplements for Cancer Prevention
You should aim to meet all of your nutritional needs through diet alone. When you eat whole foods, your body absorbs a whole range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that get to work together to protect your health.
AICR has many recommendations for creating a well-balanced diet to help you reduce your risk of cancer and live healthier.
A Blueprint to Beat Cancer
Cancer Prevention Recommendations
If you already follow the New American Plate model, then you’ve started making our Cancer Prevention Recommendations part of your everyday routine. Drawn from exhaustive research, this evidence based guideline can help you make informed choices about your day-to-day health, and can help you ensure you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself from cancer.
Foods That Fight Cancer
No single food can protect you against cancer by itself. But research shows that a diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other plant foods helps lower risk for many cancers.
FAQS about Supplements and Cancer
What are the best cancer prevention supplements?
The general consensus from research suggests that supplements have no significant impact on cancer prevention. AICR instead recommends getting all of your required nutrients from whole and healthy foods.
Are dietary supplements regulated by the FDA?
Dietary supplements are regulated as food by the FDA, not medication. Whilst there is therefore some regulation, supplement makers don’t have to prove claims of health benefits or disease prevention in the same way manufacturers would have to for medications. This means that dietary supplements claiming to prevent cancer may not live up to the claims on their labels.