Table of Contents
The Details About The Study
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association states that taking a multivitamin daily can cut cancer risk for men by almost 10 percent.
The study, written in part by Dr. Michael Gaziano of Harvard Medical School, included 15, 000 men over the age of 50. The men were divided into 2 groups. One group received daily doses of the multivitamin supplement Centrum Silver, while the other group was given a placebo. The study followed the participating men for a period of 11 years.
Following the 11-year time period, there were 2, 669 new cancers that had developed among the participants, some of whom developed cancer more than once during this period. Each year, among very 1,000 men, there were 17 cancers that developed within the multivitamin group and 18 cancers that developed within the placebo group. This equaled to a nearly 10 percent decrease in risk of developing cancer in the multivitamin group.
What It All Means
The main reason why people should take a multivitamin is to supplement or prevent a nutritional deficiency. However, Gaziano concludes that there may be a slight benefit in lowering the risk of cancer development in men over 50. Other experts in the cancer field believe that further studies need to be performed to confirm the results of Gaziano’s study before they would begin recommending multivitamins as cancer prevention to the general public.
Cancer experts also believe that while the study claims to reduce cancer risk in men by nearly 10 percent, that it still is not as effective as other prevention methods.
Experts suggest eating a properly balanced diet, committing to regular exercise, and refraining from smoking, as these steps can individually reduce cancer risks by 20 to 30 percent on average.
How It Compares To Other Studies
This study had a control group and a placebo group, while other studies did not use a placebo group. Additionally, this study followed the participants for a much longer time period of 11 years. Lastly, this study used a multivitamin supplement, which contains a mixture of both vitamins and minerals, which is a more natural way to receive these elements, compared to other studies, which used mega-doses of a single vitamin supplement.
This study has shown that men over 50 taking a multivitamin supplement daily for an extended period of time can reduce their risk of cancer development by nearly 10 percent. Of course a healthy diet, coupled with exercise and healthy lifestyle choices can be more effective. The truth is that most people don’t adhere to these standards and are not the picture of optimum health. So if taking a multivitamin daily can help cut your risk by even a little bit, there is no reason not to take it. Cancer is a serious, life threatening disease that has many incarnations and takes the lives of thousands of Americans each year. Any step in the direction of cancer prevention is a good one and should be taken whenever possible.