Research continues to show the positive influence of multivitamins on chronic diseases
Last year a government study revealed that half of American adults take at least one dietary supplement and multivitamins were found to be the most commonly used supplement. For those who do not consume a healthy diet or have a medical condition such as nutrient absorption disorder could benefit from taking multivitamins.
Regardless to the fact that there is a lack of conclusive trial information in regards to multivitamins for the prevention of chronic diseases both men and take them for this exact reason according to background information in the article.
Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, MD, MPH, Chief of the Division of Aging at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Director of Cardiovascular Epidemiology in the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and associated examined information from the Physicians’ Health Study (PHS) II, the only large-scale, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial testing the long-term effects of a common multivitamin in the prevention of chronic disease.
The trial included 14,641 males physicians in the U.S., aged 50 years or older and 1,312 with a history of cancer at random and were enrolled in the multivitamin study that began in 1997 with treatment follow-up through June 1, 2011. Participants had either taken a multivitamin or a placebo every day for more than 10 years. The primary measured outcome for the study was total cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer), with prostate, colorectal, and other site-specific cancers among the secondary end points.
During the multivitamin treatment here were 2,669 confirmed cases of cancer, including 1,373 cases of prostate cancer and 210 cases of colorectal cancer, with some men experiencing multiple events.. During the follow-up 2,757 or 18.8% of men died that included 859 or 5.9% that died due to cancer.
Examination of the data indicated that men who had taken a multivitamin had a modest 8% reduction in total cancer incident and had an alike reduction in total epithelial cell cancer. Half of all the cancers were prostate cancer with many being in the early stage. The researchers found no effect of a multivitamin on prostate cancer, whereas a multivitamin significantly reduced the risk of total cancer excluding prostate cancer. There were no statistically significant reductions in individual site-specific cancers, including colorectal, lung, and bladder cancer, or in cancer mortality.
In addition to daily multivitamin use there was a reduction in total cancer among 1,312 men who had a baseline history of cancer but this result did not significantly differ from that observed among 13,329 men initially without cancer.
The researchers noted “Approximately half of all confirmed cancers in PHS II were prostate cancer, of which the vast majorities were earlier stage, lower grade prostate cancer with high survival rates. The significant reduction in total cancer minus prostate cancer suggests that daily multivitamin use may have a greater benefit on more clinically relevant cancer diagnoses.”
“The reduction in total cancer risk in PHS II argues that the broader combination of low-dose vitamins and minerals contained in the PHS II multivitamin, rather than an emphasis on previously tested high-dose vitamins and mineral trials, may be paramount for cancer prevention.” The role of a food-focused cancer prevention strategy such as targeted fruit and vegetable intake remains promising but unproven given the inconsistent epidemiologic evidence and lack of definitive trial data.”
The researchers concluded “Although the main reason to take multivitamins is to prevent nutritional deficiency, these data provide support for the potential use of multivitamin supplements in the prevention of cancer in middle-aged and older men.”
The study appears in JAMA.
A study published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (CJPP) found that rats given regular multivitamin and mineral supplements showed a significantly lower risk of developing colon cancer when they were exposed to carcinogens.
In the study rats were fed a high fat diet at 20% fat over 32 weeks. Rats had been divided into six groups and then exposed to different combinations of supplements and carcinogens; the colon carcinogenesis induced in the study rats has characteristics that mimic human colon cancer.
The rats fed the high fat plus low fiber diet developed pre-cancerous lesions. Rats that underwent a similar treatment but had been fed daily multivitamin and mineral supplements showed a 84% reduction n the formation of pre-cancerous lesions and did not develop tumors.
The authors concluded “multivitamin and mineral supplements synergistically contribute to the cancer chemo preventative potential, and hence, regular supplements of multivitamins and minerals could reduce the risk of colon cancer.”
The study appeared in Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Volume 90, Number 1, January 2012.