Carmel, CA Could Something As Simple As A Multivitamin Stave Off Cancer?by Richard Kuehn on 10/22/12
There has been quite a bit of controversy recently over what over-the-counter nutritional supplements help, which can hurt, and which aren't doing anything at all. My own physician has expressed skepticism about using any of them at all due to the fact that many are compounded from ingredients sourced from overseas, where oversight of the ingredients can be sketchy. However, a recent study (and a massive one at that looking at 15,000 men) found that the daily use of a multivitamin modestly reduced cancer rates. Men were randomly assigned to take Pfizer's Centrum Silver, and were followed for an average of 11.2 years. Those taking Silver had an 8% cancer reduction versus those taking the placebo. Only one-third of U.S. adults regularly take multivitamins regularly. Researchers cautioned that other studies have not shown this effect and the best way to keep cancer at bay is to eat a healthy diet and avoid getting obese, keeping physically active and not smoke. "If you take a multivitamin and continue to smoke, you've misplaced your priorities," J. Michael Gaziano, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital told the Wall Street Journal. He is a co-principal investigator for the study. He believes multivitamins could help keep cancer away for women as well, but there hasn't been a study carried out to support it yet. There is likely to be additional research in this category. This is the first widespread study on a multivitamin. Other studies have looked at the impact of taking a supplement for just one vitamin, and most haven't had positive results. If something as simple as taking a multivitamin can reduce cancer, I'm all for it. And if researchers think that 8% is a modest reduction, I believe that those falling in the 8% which would have gotten cancer without a multivitamin would likely disagree.