Too much zinc raises prostate cancer risk

July 2, 2003 in Cancer Prevention, Men's Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Too much zinc raises prostate cancer risk

Men who take too much zinc may be raising their prostate cancer risk, say U.S. researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Compared with nonusers, men who took more than 100 milligrams (mg) a day of zinc supplements had more than twice the risk of advanced prostate cancer. These levels are far above the recommended 11 mg of zinc a day.

Zinc supplements are popular for, among other things, their alleged benefit in preventing or reducing the severity of colds. Zinc builds up in the prostate, a gland involved in semen production.

NCI researchers looked at surveys filled out by 46,974 men taking part in a broad-reaching and ongoing study of health professionals. They found men who took more than 100 mg a day of zinc doubled their risk of advanced prostate cancer, as did men who took the supplements for 10 years or more.

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