A new study shows that daily use of a multivitamin by middle-age and older men could result in a modest decrease in cancer risk.
In a randomized trial that included nearly 15,000 male physicians, daily multivitamin use resulted in a modest but statistically significant reduction in cancer after more than a decade of treatment and follow-up, according to a study appearing in JAMA.
The researchers say that given the inconsistency of previous studies regarding multivitamin intake and cancer reduction, the new results are surprising. In the new study, multivitamins cut the chance of developing cancer by 8 percent.
According to background information from the study: “The combination of essential vitamins and minerals contained in multivitamins may mirror healthier dietary patterns such as fruit and vegetable intake, which have been modestly and inversely associated with cancer risk in some, but not all, epidemiologic studies.”
Cancer experts say the benefit of taking a multivitamin in cancer prevention, however, is far less than sticking to a good diet, exercising and not smoking. Each of those can lower cancer risk by 20 percent, according to research.