Study finds multivitamin usage to modestly cut cancer rate18 October 2012
A new study has found that "daily multivitamin supplementation modestly but significantly reduced the risk of total cancer" in a 15,000-strong sample of healthy male physicians.
The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial showed an 8% lower incidence of cancer in older doctors who took a daily multivitamin supplement compared to those who took a placebo.
Multivitamin use had no effect on the rate of prostate cancer, which was the most common cancer in the sample. The scientists found a 12% reduction in the rate of all other cancers in the population that took multivitamins.
Dr J Michael Gaziano, the study’s lead author said: “it certainly appears there is a modest reduction in the risk of cancer from a typical multivitamin.”
However, Gaziano warned against taking a supplement instead of taking more effective preventative actions such as eating a healthy diet or quitting smoking.
“It is a small overall effect, but from a public health standpoint, it could be of great importance,” added Dr E Robert Greenberg, an affiliate at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre speaking to The New York Times.
“Other than quitting smoking, there’s not much else out there that has shown it will reduce your cancer risk by nearly 10 percent.”
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