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Taking a daily vitamin pill could lower risk of male cancer

Published on 18/10/2012

Men who take a daily vitamin pill may be lowering their risk of developing cancer, according to a new study from the US.

Daily vitamins could reduce the risk of cancer

Doctors at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School followed nearly 15,000 men aged over 50 for more than a decade, who were either taking a multivitamin or a sugar pill every day.

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, they found that there was a small reduction in cancer cases in men taking vitamin pills, with 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."

However, experts warn that other studies have found the opposite effect, and eating a diet packed with fruit and veg is a safer bet to protect against cancer.

Helga Groll, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "This study raises questions about whether there really is a lower cancer risk among men who took multi vitamins or whether the results are down to chance.

"Many other large studies tell us that vitamin and mineral supplements don't protect against cancer - they either have no effect or can even increase cancer risk.

"The best way to get a full range of vitamins and minerals is to eat a healthy, balanced diet with a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Most healthy people shouldn't need to take supplements - although some may be advised to do so by their doctor."

For access to the best cancer care the UK has to offer, compare medical insurance policies online now with ActiveQuote.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
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