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Could Taking Multivitamins Lead to Breast Cancer?

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Taking multivitamins may not be a good health choice for women. A new study has found that woman who take multivitamins may face a higher risk of breast cancer. The study appears online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study involved 35,000 Swedish women aged 49 to 83. Just over a quarter said they took multivitamins. During about 10 years of follow-up, 974 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 293 of these diagnoses occurred among the 9,017 women who reported using multivitamins. Overall, those women were 19 percent more likely to develop breast cancer.

The researchers pointed out that the study results do not prove that the supplements directly contribute to the disease. For example, it is possible that factors the study did not measure could explain the association between multivitamins and breast cancer. However, the researchers said the matter warrants further research.

The study authors recommend that until more is known about the possible association between multivitamins and breast cancer, women would be best served if they get vitamins and minerals from a well-balanced diet rather than pills.

The women in the study did not provide information on what brands of vitamins they took. Other factors, like age, family history of breast cancer, weight, fruit and vegetable intake, and exercise, smoking and drinking habits, were taken into account.

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