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Multivitamins linked to aggressive prostate cancer


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Multivitamins linked to aggressive prostate cancer

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/sto ... d=10440524

Men who pop too many vitamins may be raising their risk of the deadliest form of prostate cancer, especially men with a family history of the disease, researchers say.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Chicago found that men who exceeded the recommended dose - taking more than seven multivitamins a week - increased the risk of advanced cancer by about 30 per cent.

The researchers followed 295,344 men over five years to see if there was a link between multivitamin use and prostate cancer.

"We didn't see any relationship with overall prostate cancer," said Dr Michael Leitzmann, a National Cancer Institute investigator who worked on the study.

He said the increased risk from overuse of multivitamins was linked to more aggressive cancer that had spread beyond the prostate gland or cancer that proved fatal.

In men who took too many multivitamins, the risk of aggressive cancer increased by one third, and the risk of fatal prostate cancer doubled compared with those who took no multivitamins, according to the study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"We only saw the increase among the subgroup of men who used multivitamins in excessive amounts," Dr Leitzmann said.

The association was strongest in men with a family history of prostate cancer and men who also took selenium, beta-carotene or zinc supplements.

No studies have yet found that people benefit from taking multivitamin and mineral supplements, and some studies have found that vitamins like A and iron are toxic at high levels.

- Reuters

That last paragraph interests me. Is that true there's no benefit? Surely there must be situations where it's helpful...?

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I have read stdudies that show the benefit of taking vitamins, I have even been told to by my doc. Unfortunatly I cant dig up any of those studies now. I will have a look though when I have more time if someone does not before me.

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I liked the article and I think it made some very valid points. The last paragraph is somewhat controversial though. I agree that some vitamins (especially the fat soluble ones) in excess can be destrimental to one's health. However, it also also mentions that "No studies have yet found that people benefit from taking multivitamin and mineral supplements" to be untrue. There are countless studies and clinical experiments done to prove that they do help, especially for those whose diet is not good, older folks, people who exercise and folks who are sick. I think this article was written in good faith but not much of prior research. I think there so many many studies on this, that is bound to be conflicting results. I think we has to take everyone of these studies with a grain of salt. I don't know who is right in their studies but I try to follow the motto "Moderation in everything".

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notice how they pointed out that "the association was strongest in men with a family history of prostate cancer". So basically the study can't prove anything. The part saying, "men who also took selenium, beta-carotene, or zinc supplements", makes me wonder which one is it??? Is it the multi-vitamin or is it selenium, beta-caroteene, OR zinc. Also, they didn't indicate percentages of which factors were more determinate in the cancer outcomes.

another thing is what sort of multi-vitamin were they using? Most store bought multivitamin pills, like Centrum, pretty much suck. They use the cheapest versions of vitamins -- or worse, useless synthetic versions -- and the minerals they contain are entirely lacking. Might as well eat a vitamin fortified Pop-Tart

these "studies" cease to amaze me. Full of flaws at best. There are just too many variables for any of this info to be close to accurate.. and with

high doses of synthetic vitamins, I would tend to be more worried about the harmfull effects on my liver and not my prostate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

here is my two cents: there are many controversial issues in nutrition. opinions can differ greatly between health professionals in the industry depending on the studies quoted, even the same evidence from a trial can be used to either support or refute a certain view point. sound judgement is required to assess the quality or bias involved in the studies quoted.

considering the magnitude at which people take multivitamins (up to 20 million people in the US), a recent summary of evidence of high-quality trials showed a 4% increase in death, which sounds small but can equate to around 75 000 additional deaths each year. on the flipside low-quality trials can generate a decreased risk. the quality of the trials quoted really can effect the argument/view point for or against use.

my personal advice is that if you are consuming a balanced and varied diet, and have an adequate energy intake, then you are likely to be getting the vitamins + minerals you need. :)

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