Excessive intake of vitamins can cause cancer. This is according to a new research finding by Dr Tim Byers who is the associate director for prevention and control at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and one of the world’s top cancer experts

Byers who admitted to not being sure why this was the case said taking extra vitamins “does more harm than good” and increases the risk of cancer and heart disease.

The cancer expert who examined research papers spanning 30 years looked at three widely taken ­over-the-counter pills and supplements - vitamin E tablets, beta-carotene and folic acid, and warned against exceeding the recommended daily amount.

According to him:

"We studied thousands of patients for 10 years who were taking dietary supplements and placebos. We found that the supplements were actually not beneficial for their health. In fact, some people actually got more cancer while on the vitamins.”

A member of Byer's team also discovered that folic acid supplements which is taken by hundreds of thousands of pregnant women each year to help prevent spina bifida and other birth defects affecting the brain and spine could increase the chances of getting cancer by 56% if taken in excess.

In addition, the acid or vitamin, beta-carotene  taken to cut the risk of heart disease and polyps in a colon could in fact yield the opposite result.

Taking more than the recommended dose therefore increased the number of dangerous polyps, thereby increasing the chance of developing lung cancer and heart disease by 20%.

Also another trial of 35,000 people between 2001 and 2014 in the United States found taking too many vitamin E tablets increased the risk of developing prostate cancer by 17%.

According to UK Mirror, Byers began his study after it emerged 20 years ago that people eating more fruit and vegetables were less likely to get cancer and wanted to see if vitamin supplements would reduce the threat of the disease even further.

Instead "we have discovered that taking extra vitamins and minerals do more harm than good. This is not to say that people need to be afraid of taking vitamins and minerals. If taken at the correct dosage multivitamins can be good for you. But there is no substitute for good food.” he said.