Multi-vitamins May Lower Cancer Risk

Posted on October 19 2012

Multi-vitamins offer a supplemental way of preventing nutritional deficiency. A new study indicates that in addition to their nutritional value, multi-vitamins may lower cancer risk.

The study, involving male physicians and part of the Physician’s Health Study program, concluded that cancer risk dropped by 8% in men taking the multi-vitamin. Nearly 15,000 men, ages 50 and over, participated in the study. Split up into two groups, some took the multi-vitamin Centrum Silver and others a placebo; the men were tracked after an 11 year period to retrieve the data.

The findings indicated that not only did cancer risk drop by 8% but cancer mortality also declined by 12%. Some participants had a history of cancer and the study concluded that the effect of multi-vitamin consumption dropped their risk 27% in comparison to men on the placebo pills.

The study doesn’t mean that men didn’t get cancer. In fact, 2,669 confirmed cases of cancer were found within the participant population. It was found that of 2,750 participant deaths, 850 were cancer-related. Researchers emphasize that the benefits of multi-vitamins in reducing cancer risk does not mean it is a cure all. It is suggested that maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and smoking cessation are still important risk-reducing factors that can decrease risk anywhere from 20% to 30%. However, multi-vitamins may provide an extra boost for protecting the body against cancer.

While the study is a step in the right direction to deciphering the cancer-risk benefits of multi-vitamins, the data collected does not provide significant statistics to indicate an overall reduction of cancer mortality. However, multi-vitamins do work well at preventing nutritional deficiencies and are suggested as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Sources: Time Healthland: MedPage Today: CBS News Health: 


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