Women who take multivitamins and calcium tablets on a daily basis may have a significantly decreased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, according to a new study recently presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting.
Lead author Jaime Matta and his colleagues from the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico found that while nutrient supplementation did not result in an immediate breast cancer risk reduction, it was linked to positive long-term effects when taken over many years.
For the study, the research team compared the lifestyle habits of 268 breast cancer sufferers to those of 457 healthy women. They found that women who routinely took multivitamins reduced their risk of developing the disease by nearly 30 percent compared to the control group. Furthermore, those who took nutritional supplements and calcium tablets reduced their risk by more than 40 percent.
Matta concluded that vitamin supplements may help subjugate cancer risk by enhancing DNA repair capacity.
"This process involves at least five separate pathways and is critical for maintaining genomic stability," he said. "When the DNA is not repaired, it leads to mutation that leads to cancer."