A new study has found multivitamins modestly lowered the risk of cancer in healthy male doctors who took them for more than a decade. This new study surprises experts because previous resources claimed individual vitamins do not help prevent chronic diseases and some even seemed to raise the risk of cancer.
According to the new study, multivitamins lowered the chance of developing cancer by 8 percent. However, cancer experts are stating this is less effective than a good diet, exercise and not smoking, each of which can lower cancer risk by 20 to 30 percent.
“It’s a very mild effect and personally I’m not sure it’s significant enough to recommend to anyone, although it is promising,” said Dr. Ernest Hawk, Vice President of Cancer Prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and formerly of the National Cancer Institute. “At least this doesn’t suggest harm as some previous studies on single vitamins have.” The study was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
About one-third of U.S. adults and as many as half of those over 50 take multivitamins. A fact sheet from the federal Office of Dietary Supplements states no government agency recommends their routine use “regardless of the quality of a person’s diet.”