Low-dose antioxidant supplements may reduce cancer risk in men, but not in women, say researchers according to a new study.
Researchers conducted a study on 13,017 French adults. The participants took either a placebo or a single daily capsule containing 120 milligrams of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 30 milligrams of vitamin E, six milligrams of beta carotene, 100 micrograms of selenium, and 20 milligrams of zinc.
Results showed after an average follow-up time of 7.5 years, total cancer incidence and death overall was decreased in men who took the low-dose antioxidant supplements. However, the supplements did not have the same effect in women.
Based on their findings researchers believe the antioxidant supplements were only effective in men due to men having lower baseline levels of certain antioxidants, such as beta carotene , thus they say that an adequate and well-balanced supplementation of anti- oxidant nutrients, at doses that might be reached with a healthy diet that includes a high consumption of fruits and vegetables, would have a protective effect against cancer in men.