April 21, 2024

A huge study just took place and was reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association on the affect of multivitamins and cancer in men. In the study they looked at a huge number of male doctors and came up with some good although vague results.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School Study

Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School recruited nearly 15,000 male physicians, 50 years or older, and followed them for more than a decade.  Half took the daily multivitamin Centrum Silver; the others took a placebo.

Men in the vitamin group had a modest 8% reduction in cancer cases compared to the others.

“This study suggests, at least for men, that there might be benefits to taking multivitamins in terms of cancer,” study author Dr. John Michael Gaziano said in a press release. He is the chief of the Division of Aging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“Overall the study provides the first very nice piece of evidence that well-balanced – not overdose, not mega dose – combination of vitamins and minerals seems to have an effect at preventing cancer,” said Dr. Boris Pasche, director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “But more research is needed to validate this.”

Multivitamins may Reduce Cancer Risk
Multivitamins may Reduce Cancer Risk

The researchers were not able to determine which types of cancers might be prevented when taking the vitamins.

They are also not sure that the results will be seen in other groups of people such as women or smokers. The men in this study were generally healthy physicians, not over or obese and most were non-smokers.

“It will be difficult to make generalizations to the broad public from this one study, but I was impressed by the data,” said Dr. Ernest Hawk, vice president and division head for the Division of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences at MD Anderson Center in Houston, Texas.

Conflicting Vitamin Studies

Back when the study began in 1997, most experts thought taking a vitamin would be beneficial to our health. But in the subsequent years, many scientists were alarmed by evidence suggesting potential harm from vitamin use. Newer studies found vitamin supplements didn’t reduce the risk of cancer, and, in some cases, raised the risk of men and women developing cancer.

This latest study may once again lead experts to re-visit the issue.  Pasche and Hawk, who did not participate in the research, said they are encouraged that after 10 years of study researchers did not see an increase in lung, colorectal, prostate and other cancers, but rather a modest decline in overall cancer cases.

My Recommendations on Multivitamins?

I am a big fan of taking multivitamins. There may be conflicting studies but I feel that if we are deficient in any vitamin or mineral it will definitely affect our health. There is no way that we can substitute multivitamins for food but at least we can enhance our diet just in case.

Whether you do take multivitamins or not you can enhance your diet just by getting rid of a lot of the foods that you are eating, getting rid of processed foods, and replace those foods with fruits and vegetables instead.


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