vitamins and supplements background

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SOLNA, Sweden — Taking vitamins or dietary supplements could be feeding tumors and promote their growth, scientists warn. Common antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, selenium, and zinc, can stimulate the growth of blood vessels in cancer when taken in excess. This discovery surprised researchers, as prior studies have shown antioxidants to be protective. While Swedish scientists state that natural levels of antioxidants in food are safe, taking supplements containing additional antioxidants could fuel tumor growth and allow the disease to spread faster.

The study, conducted by a team at the Karolinska Institutet, concludes that vitamin C and other antioxidants promote the formation of new blood vessels within lung cancer tumors. Study authors suggest that this finding could be applicable to all cancers and their spread.

“We’ve found that antioxidants activate a mechanism that causes cancer tumors to form new blood vessels, which is surprising, since it was previously thought that antioxidants have a protective effect,” says study leader Martin Bergö, professor at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition and vice president of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. “The new blood vessels nourish the tumors and can help them grow and spread.”

Antioxidants neutralize free oxygen radicals, which can damage the body and are commonly found in dietary supplements. However, excessively high doses can be harmful.

“There’s no need to fear antioxidants in normal food but most people don’t need additional amounts of them,” Prof. Bergö adds in a statement. “In fact, it can be harmful for cancer patients and people with an elevated cancer risk.”

Vitamins in fruits and vegetables
Vitamins in fruits and veggies (© airborne77 –

The research team found that antioxidants reduce the levels of free oxygen radicals, but when extra amounts are introduced, the drop in free radicals activates a protein called BACH1. This, in turn, induces the formation of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis.

“Many clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of angiogenesis inhibitors, but the results have not been as successful as anticipated,” says Ting Wang, doctoral student in Professor Bergö’s group at Karolinska Institutet. “Our study opens the door to more effective ways of preventing angiogenesis in tumors; for example, patients whose tumors exhibit high levels of BACH1 might benefit more from anti-angiogenesis therapy than patients with low BACH1 levels.”

Using lung, breast, and kidney tumors, they found that when BACH1 was activated through ingested antioxidants or by overexpression of the BACH1 gene, more new blood vessels were produced. However, these blood vessels were highly sensitive to angiogenesis inhibitors.

“The next step is to examine in detail how levels of oxygen and free radicals can regulate the BACH1 protein, and we will continue to determine the clinical relevance of our results,” Wang concludes. “We’ll also be doing similar studies in other cancer forms such as breast, kidney and skin cancer.”

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

South West News Service writer Jim Leffman contributed to this report.

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StudyFinds sets out to find new research that speaks to mass audiences — without all the scientific jargon. The stories we publish are digestible, summarized versions of research that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. StudyFinds Staff articles are AI assisted, but always thoroughly reviewed and edited by a Study Finds staff member. Read our AI Policy for more information.

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StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

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Chris Melore


Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor


  1. Jerry Brandt says:

    Sure taking an excess of anything can never be good. However to say we don’t need vitamins and supplements? Let’s see half the vegetables we have today are genetically modified. There are people today who have never tasted a home grown tomato or strawberry from 40 years ago. It is impossible to get the nutrients you need with today’s fruits and vegetables unless you eat to excess. Vitamins and supplements help fill in the gap. Let’s face it. Healthy people are a disaster to the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Drugs cost a lot more than vitamins and supplements. The medical industry has no problem if you have to use their drugs for life. What the average Joe does not realize is that many herbs are modified to turn into expensive drugs. You do you and I will do me. My doctor is also impressed with my health and my age too. One day it will all get exposed. Until then do your research and make your own decisions.

    1. Stumbling Duck says:

      Agreed.. this was funded by Chinese researchers working in Sweden, so we can’t be sure how much of this is true or if data is manipulated to help pharma. It’s a good thing there’s still a few of us out there who remember how healthy people were before pharma took over the food and medical systems. All cures come from nature. I’ll take some natural supplements too, as it’s almost impossible to be healthy without them. At 52, I’m healthier than many half my age and that’s with a disease acquired from pharma back in the 70’s.

    2. Mark Cutis says:

      So true! Soil is depleted from nutrients so difficult to get what you need from food.

    3. Vendicar Decarian says:

      ” Let’s see half the vegetables we have today are genetically modified.”

      So what?

      1. Stumbling Duck says:

        Not yet half, but they are working on it.. anything to weaken the human genome. We aren’t meant to eat potatoes with frog dna. It’s also a rape to those of us who are opposed to eating those creatures.

      2. Vendicar Decarian says:

        A genome can’t be weakened. It can only be modified.

        You might as well claim you are weakening the number 1000 by changing the last digit to 1.

        Youi are clueless, and that is why you are a conspiratorialist loon.

      3. linda says:

        let me guess…jabbed and fully boosted…obviously the spikes are attacking your brain nuerons…please do us all a favor…keep getting boosted!

  2. SuzanneL says:

    Ooooh, no. Now THIS is Big Pharma “Disinformation” !!! They don’t think you’re stupid. They demand you be stupid! They tried to outlaw health enhancing vitamins, minerals, and food supplements a few years ago under their Codex Alimentarius, just before they sent us covid, but we were onto them and put a stop to it. So now as they launch their new covid 2.0 fear campaign against us, they want to scare and shame us out of taking our immune supporting supplements, so they can sell their toxic “vaxxes” to Uncle Mandate Menglele Biden. This is the same game plan they used against HCQ and Ivermectin. It doesn’t stink any less the second time around, fellas.

    1. NatureHacker says:

      The no-name journal this was published in is a covert publication of the Rockefeller institute. I had to go back to archives from 1996 to discover that. You are right on.

    2. Vendicar Decarian says:

      SusanneL should have graduated from high school.


      1. Goblin says:

        Why are you such a die hard political hackmaster

      2. linda says:

        people that stay away from indoctrination centers turn out brighter, better, critical thinkers…so you are probably right…what a lucky gal she is that she didn’t waste her valuable time in one of those hell holes. you on the other hand…not so lucky.

    3. Truthseeker says:

      Spot on!

  3. Edward says:

    OF COURSE they are harmful – otherwise Big Pharma could not make trillions of $$$ from unhealthy Americans who are fat, dumb and lazy because of harmful food additives only found in the U.S.

    1. Vendicar Decarian says:

      Ya, it’s all a conspiracy to keep you stupid.

      In your case, it’s working.

  4. Micky Mouse says:

    HMMmmm – 2 articles under same heading – one demonizing supplements, the other praising vitamin D – I guess it’s mostly a matter of who is paying for the “study”…

    1. Vendicar Decarian says:

      It is well known that virtually everyone who lives countries where snow is common, are Deficient in D.

      The other Vitamins not so much, although B complex vitamins are also often lacking particularly in older people who naturally develop resistance to the absorption of B.

  5. Charles F. says:

    Editorial Team:

    The article should clarify that the study (I read it) only concerns solid mass tumors — i.e. breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer… It does not refer to other types of cancers that do not involve a solid mass tumor, e.g. leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphoma and other types of blood cancers or cancers of the immune system. When there is no solid mass tumor, angiogenesis (the stimulation of capillary growth) is of no relevance.

    This is a very important distinction. Unfortunately, the misleading generality you introduced undermines this important discovery and associated message regarding dose-dependent effects of certain agents on specific types of cancer (i.e. the well known concept in medical and research circles that some agents can have pro- and anti-cancer effects at different concentrations or in different combination or depending on the type of cancer within a same class — i.e. lung cancer vs. breast cancer).

    This is a critical message to educate consumers and warn them against misleading generalities (supplement are all good) and other dangerous misinformation found in general-interest publications.

    1. NatureHacker says:

      Read deeper, restricting oxygen to the tumor makes angiogenesis stronger than the antioxidants tested, so this is a non issue. The researchers admitted their data is an outlier and every other study shows vitamin c reduces angiogenesis. Also there was no increase in size of the antioxidant treated tumors or metastisis, in fact the vitamin supplemented tumors were smaller (see the figures at the end of the article). Turns out the no name ‘JCI’ is run by the rockefeller foundation (check 1996 for

    2. linda says:

      if the 1/2 the humans on the planet were dumb enough to inject themselves with an experimental concoction of god knows what…then there really is no hope for them. people that do not investigate what they eat, drink, breathe, read or inject into their bodies…well, then they get what they deserve. people hear and see what they want to hear and see. the good news is people are waking up and are starting to see the BS brought to you by bogus scientists.

  6. Supplement Yourself says:

    Big Pharm@ & Wall St. MD has tried the vitamins cause cancer scare tactic before.
    They tried BANNING all but flinstones level alphabet vitamins under Clinton in the 90’s.
    Remember the EU, which Sweden is a member, says Round Up does NOT cause Cancer.

    1. Vendicar Decarian says:

      The question is – Does oxidative stress play a roll in apoapsis?

      It does of course, so reducing oxidative stress will reduce the rate of cell death in cancer.

      No conspiracy is necessary. You are living in a fantasy land.

      1. Goblin says:

        Vendicar are you getting your 7th booster this fall? Do you wear your n95 while driving alone.

      2. RB says:

        apoapsis? – The point at which an orbiting object is farthest away from the body it is orbiting.

        Yep, you are totally spaced out!

        But, I suspect you meant apoptosis, or programmed cell death, which does not occur with oxidative stress. Instead ischemia, if not relieved by angiogenesis or external intervention, will result in cell necrosis.

        Angiogenesis is beneficial in the human body, e.g. collateral artery formation with CAD, but can be problematic with other diseases, e.g. Tumors, AMD.

        So my takeaway from the article is supplementation is okay with certain ailments, and not so much with other diseases. No conspiracy there!

  7. michele says:

    funny how all those supplements have been said to be helpful to the immune system so that we don’t catch covid or at least have less symptoms. they just want us to take the vaccine so they have to come up with this crap.

    1. Vendicar Decarian says:

      Don’t confuse marketing with medical research.

      1. Gassthekkkikkkes says:

        STFU juu

  8. Anthony Fuentes says:

    This reminds me of the Codex Alimentarius controversy. This is fake news, garbage article.

  9. Priceless Gem says:

    Why all these blackmail on supplements? Can we really get all the nutrients the body needs from natural foods? I totally agree that taking supplements in excess is bad, but this article makes it look like supplementation is dangerous, get all the nutrients from natural food. I hope the writers of this article will not end misleading people than it seeks to educate people.

    1. NatureHacker says:

      The writers never say excess supplements cause or progress cancer. In fact the supplemented tumors in the study are smaller than the non supplemented ones. This is disinfo by primarily and also JCI that published the article is run by rockefeller foundation.

  10. Art says:


    Doing healthy things determined to be detrimental to health. Now back to your scheduled Crazy World presentation …

    1. Vendicar Decarian says:

      “When you create supplements with sugar, vegetable oils and non-digestible fillers”

      Aren’t those the primary components of natural foods available to hunters and gatherers?

  11. GeorgiePorgieKnows says:

    Selenium is a mineral not an antioxidant. I quit reading it after that. I’m smart enough to know it’s a big pharma article to get you so you don’t take vitamins Were the cancer cells or tumors grown outside the body because if the body has antioxidants it’s more healthy to fight anything but if you’re feeding antioxidants to a tumor outside the body then it’s irrelevant?

  12. Matt Durkee says:

    The second sentence in the first paragraph doesn’t even make sense? Can you say chat gbt? You can find a study to support anything you want. If you believe regular vitamins and minerals will give you cancer then you’re too stupid to notice the grammar in this article doesn’t even make sense?

  13. Me says:

    Interesting then that the new drug “Vascepa” (prescription only) was recently approved by the FDA and is made from Omega-3 Fish Oil, a known (natural) antioxidant.

    I guess as long as pharmaceuticals are peddling it, it’s safe, but not so much when they aren’t making billions from it.

  14. NatureHacker says:

    The study authors never even claim this. is total disinfo. The tumors treated with antioxidant vitamins in the study were smaller than the placebo ones. Every study shows vitamin c especially is very helpful for preventing and treating cancer. Lemongrass esential oil is also amazing and should be added to smoothies if you are fighting cancer.

  15. Vig Admas says:

    This must surely mean that they will soon have a cancer vaccine and I will be the first to refuse it!

    1. Vendicar Decarian says:

      Then die in ignorance.

      1. Goblin says:

        Vendicar is a politically indoctrinated cuck for the demokkkRat party. He worships at the alter of biden newsome pelosi. A true parrot and a hateful one at that.

      2. linda says:

        with an ego like yours, surely you are of low vibration. darkness surrounds your words, try to raise your vibration and understand…you don’t know shit about shit. you only know what you are reading and believing.

  16. Bob says:

    This article could be to hide the fact that the COVID-19 shot is the cause of cancers that quickly form and get to more advanced stages.

    1. RT says:

      Politics not welcome. Take it to a political site willing to set science aside in selected instances.

  17. Roger Spring says:

    Decreased nutrients in the soil, processed foods and polluted water and air makes me believe low dose vitamins and antioxidants are required in modern times.

    1. Vendicar Decarian says:

      What nutrients are decreased in the soil?

      List them.

      1. linda says:

        A landmark study on the topic by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. They studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century. Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.

  18. MHart says:

    Keep in mind, readers. “Study Finds” publishes every study it can find, no matter how low, preposterous and horribly designed the studies are. I have seen this website publish pure shtt. This is the “Weekly World News” of science with a photo of Bay Boy on the front page.

    1. Vendicar Decarian says:


  19. Hate Big Pharma says:

    This “study” has been out for over 10 years. Fearmongering is disgusting to get clicks.