Report: Multi-Vitamins Reduce Risk of Developing Cancer

Most of us are urged by our doctors to take a multiple vitamin everyday or some other supplement, such as a B vitamin or a calcium pill. There hasn’t been a lot of evidence, however, that a multiple vitamin has a beneficial effect on our health.

That may be changing for multivitamins. A new report indicates that taking a standard multivitamin pill every day for more than a decade reduces the odds of developing cancer. The finding comes from the Physicians’ Health Study II, a Harvard-based trial that was launched in 1997. In the study, nearly 15,000 male physicians aged 50 years and older took a daily pill containing 31 vitamins and minerals or a placebo.

Over the course of the trial, 1,379 men in the placebo group developed some form of cancer (18.3 cancers per 1,000 men per year), compared to 1,290 men in the multivitamin group (17.0 cancers per 1,000 men per year). That represents an 8 percent reduction in cancer. Rates of prostate cancer were the same in both the multivitamin and placebo groups, however. Deaths were also similar in both groups. The findings were presented at the annual American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting in Anaheim, Calif., and published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Although our results indicate that taking a daily multivitamin may be one strategy for helping prevent cancer, they must be viewed in light of other evidence, past and future,” said lead author Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and VA Boston Healthcare.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Ilinois medical malpractice lawsuits for over 36 years, serving those areas in and around Cook County, including Chicago, Winnetka, Downers Grove, Orland Park, and Bolingbrook, Il.

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