Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.
Despite the promises made by some manufacturers, we advise against taking supplements to protect against cancer.
Whole foods provide more than just vitamins and minerals. For example, they contain fibre which is important for bowel health. For this reason, you should aim to meet your nutritional needs by eating a varied, healthy, balanced diet rather than using supplements.
Supplements are a substance, often in tablet or capsule form. They’re consumed in addition to the usual diet. Dietary supplements typically refer to vitamins or minerals, though other components of foods may also be included. These include:
Some supplements can support our daily nutritional requirements but some are in high-doses that far exceed levels that would be consumed by eating foods with these nutrients in.
There’s strong evidence that some high-dose supplements can actually be harmful. As the effect of other supplements on cancer risk is unclear, it is best not to use them to protect against cancer.
Most people can meet their nutritional needs by eating a healthy, balanced diet, although some authorities recommend that we should all take a vitamin D supplement. However, some groups may benefit from taking other supplements, such as:
In such cases, a doctor, dietitian or specialist nurse will be able to provide advice.