October 18th, 2012

Multivitamins May Confer a Small, but Significant, Cancer Risk Reduction in Men

Middle-aged and older men who take multivitamins have a modestly reduced risk for cancer, according to an industry-supported study in JAMA.

Nearly 15,000 male U.S. physicians aged 50 and older were randomized to a daily multivitamin or placebo and then followed for roughly 11 years. Multivitamin recipients had a small but significant reduction in total cancer diagnoses (17.0 vs. 18.3 cancers per 1000 person-years). There were, however, no reductions in site-specific cancers — including prostate cancer, the most frequently diagnosed.

The authors conclude: “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.” 

Reprinted with permission from Physician’s First Watch

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