width=306A major study revealed that women who take multivitamins on a daily basis are 20 percent more likely to develop breast cancer.

This shocking finding alarmed Australia's $2.5 billion complementary health industry, which is now urging consumers not to panic.

From a study of 35,000 women within a 10-year study, researchers found out that those who regularly take multi-vitamin pill have higher risk of developing a tumor by 19 percent.

They said that the results were alarming and are in need for further investigation as many women use multi-vitamins in the belief that these prevent chronic diseases such as cancer.

A biologically plausible explanation is that taking multi-vitamins and mineral supplements increases the density of breast tissue, a strong factor for breast cancer. Folic acid which is often present in multi-vitamins may accelerate tumor growth.

Sweden's Karolinska Institute conducted the study and was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which was further on greeted with interest and caution by Australian experts.

Results from this study suggests that intake on multi-vitamins may increase breast cancer risk, Susanna Larrson, lead author of the study, said.