Antioxidant Vitamins May Reduce Cancer and Mortality
Dear Patients & Friends:
So what’s the buzz about vitamin/mineral and antioxidant supplements: are they helpful, a waste of money, or perhaps even harmful?
A recent large study of 23,943 subjects without pre-existing cancer, coronary or stroke, found that taking supplements with antioxidant vitamins might possibly reduce cancer and all cause mortality. Writing in the August 2011 issue of the European Journal of Nutrition, scientists reported that as antioxidant vitamin supplementation increased, all cause mortality decreased.
Scientists found problems with prior studies that concluded only Vitamin D was helpful as a supplement for use by the general population, and that some vitamin/mineral supplement use, for example by cigarette users, might actually increase cancer risks. The prior findings had been widely reported in media such as a Reader’s Digest article.
The new research was more sensitive to daily habits including people that do not take vitamins every day, and found that taking antioxidant supplements even a couple of days a week triggered small but significant lowering of all-cause mortality.
A third of Americans take vitamins. How much more benefit would be seen if we were as regular with our vitamins as we are with brushing our teeth? Stay tuned while scientists keep working, but as for me and my house, we’re going to try to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, work on staying active, getting regular rest, chiropractic and stress reduction, and keep taking our supplements daily.
For better health,
Rob Leach, DC, MS, CHES, FICC(H)
To read findings of the recent EPIC-Heidelberg study of 23, 943 subjects taking antioxidant supplements: http://www.springerlink.com/content/k46070w7p83g1181/fulltext.pdf
For a nice explanation of problems with cross sectional research of supplementation and why some findings are in conflict: http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Antioxidant-vitamins-may-cut-mortality-risk-EPIC-data
Here’s the article that in 2011 appeared in national media including Reader’s Digest, where researchers—using what scientists now say may have been inadequate methods—concluded only Vitamin D was helpful for most people, and that other supplements may harm people: http://www.rd.com/health/are-vitamins-really-that-good-for-you/
Here is an example of large scale research (more than 1,000 subjects) showing how there is an association between use of the Mediterranean Diet and decrease in coronary and stroke risks: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21982665
More than a third of U.S. adults take vitamin and mineral supplements, according to a project funded by the National Library of Medicine: http://www.mmc.edu/www.meharry.org/fl/minority_health/Nutrition.html