Life Clinic

Vitamins may reduce cancer risk in men

VitaminsVitamins may reduce cancer risk in men, study finds taking a daily multivitamin pill may lower the risk of developing cancer in men, US researchers have claimed.

Their study followed nearly 15,000 men, aged over 50, for more than a decade.

The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reported a small reduction in cancer cases in men taking vitamin pills.

But experts warned that other studies had found the opposite effect and that eating a diet packed with fruit and vegetables was a safer bet.

Vitamin supplements are recommended for some groups of people, such as vitamin D in the over 65s.

However, the benefits of multivitamins on general health have been mixed. Some studies suggest they cause more harm than good when taken by healthy people while others have shown no benefit in cancer.

Doctors at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School analysed data from men who were given either a multivitamin or a sugar pill every day.

Diet emphasis

There were 17 cancers per 1,000 people taking multivitamins per year compared with 18 cancers per 1,000 people taking the dummy pills per year.

One of the researchers, Dr Howard Sesso said: "Many studies have suggested that eating a nutritious diet may reduce a man's risk of developing cancer.

"Now we know that taking a daily multivitamin, in addition to addressing vitamin and mineral deficiencies, may also be considered in the prevention of cancer in middle-aged and older men."

The researchers do not know if a similar effect would be seen in women or in younger men.

Dr Helga Groll, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "Although this study suggests that men in the trial had a slightly lower cancer risk if they took multivitamins, we can't be sure from this research whether this is a true effect or down to chance.

Life Clinic says:

This research highlights some interesting points. Firstly and quite rightly, the diet is the baseline from which the majority of your nutrients should be obtained, however it has become clear (from previous articles and research) that fruits and vegetables produced today are much less nutritious than they were 50 years ago.

Intensive farming methods together with the inadequate replenishment of nutrients in soils has resulted in less nutrient dense foods. Over time, consuming foods with less nutrients can contribute to a greater risk of developing particular conditions or ailments.

Such is the subtle nature of how nutrients work in the body, its sometimes difficult to pinpoint just one single deficiency which contributes to a condition.

However, it is our belief that by taking specific supplements at the correct dosages can be particularly supportive in disease prevention, like cancer or heart disease, especially with the shortfalls in the diet.

Taking a baseline multi-vitamin will cover many bases, however with some individuals with particular biochemical demands, additional supplements maybe required.

In addition, over the counter Multi-vitamins bought in pharmacies are likely to be providing sub-therapeutic doses of anti-oxidants together with having low bio-availability in the gut.

At Life Clinic we use ‘pharmaceutical graded’ supplements with guaranteed potency and efficacy and we can identify the biochemical demands of an individual and tailor make your supplement regime for you.

Ultimately living a disease free state for as long as possible is the best outcome, and by taking responsibility of our own health in our 30’s and 40’s is ‘good insurance’ for later on in life.

If you have any further queries about vitamins minerals or assessment of your biochemical status, please contact us.