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Multivitamins Could Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer

| Date Posted: 11/21/2012 | Author: Mandy McCue

As of 2008 the estimated cancer prevalence in the U.S. was just shy of 12 million people. This means there are 12 million people living with cancer at any point in time. According to the American Cancer Society between birth and death 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer at some point. Although those sound like some scary statistics, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing cancer.

Cancer sometimes lies in genetics so it is not entirely preventable, but a way to reduce the risk would be to live a healthy life.  Sounds easy right? Living a healthy lifestyle would include eating right, exercising frequently, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, wearing sunscreen and even taking multivitamins.

There have been many studies on different specific vitamins to see if they can help prevent cancer; however, they have all turned up negative until now.  Most multivitamins include various vitamins such as vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K and beneficial minerals such as manganese, zinc, and calcium. Each aspect of a multivitamin helps enhance your overall health. In the past, most studies focused on a single supplement at high doses with a limited scope and size of participants, which makes this new study the first of its kind.

This new data comes from the Physicians Health Study II published in the Journal of American Medical Association earlier this month.

“The Physicians Health Study II represents the only large-scale, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial testing the long-term effects of common multivitamin in the prevention of a chronic disease,” the authors write.

A 13-year study took 15,000 male doctors, over the age 50 and considered in average good health, and followed them.. Every day for those 13 years the participants received either a pack of multivitamins or a dummy pill, whereby the study concluded that a daily dose of multivitamins reduced the total risk of cancer in the participants by 8 percent.

These conclusions have only been noted in men with fair health. Further research needs to be conducted about the effects of women taking multivitamins to determine whether it also reduces cancer risk.

To learn more on ways to reduce your risk of cancer please read Cancer Prevention on the FirstHealth website. FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital’s FirstHealth Cancer Services offers treatment and support for patients in the Pinehurst, Raeford, Sanford, Lumberton, Laurinburg, Rockingham and Troy regions of North Carolina and beyond.

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