STUDY: Multiple Vitamin May Reduce Cancer Risk In Men

A recent study on multivitamin use - published in the Journal of the American Medical Association - found that men who took a daily multiple vitamin had lower instances of cancer than the men who took the placebo. The objective of this study was to determine whether long-term multivitamin supplementation decreases the risk of total and site-specific cancer events among men.

Dr. J. Michael Gaziano led a team of doctors who performed a decade-long study on the affect of multivitamin supplementation on cancer in adult men. This study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and consisted of 14,641 male physicians in the United States with an initial age of 50 years or older. The decision to use physicians as study participants was so that there would be high-quality reporting of health information.

Participants in this large-scale, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - called Physicians Health Study II - were given a daily multivitamin or placebo and followed up with for over a decade. The study looked at cases of site-specific cancer, such as prostate cancer and colorectal cancer as well as total cancer, not including non-melanoma skin cancer. The study concluded in this large prevention trial of male physicians, daily multivitamin supplementation modestly but significantly reduced the risk of total cancer.

The study also looked at any possible negative side effects of taking a daily multiple vitamin on the study participants, such as gastrointestinal tract symptoms - peptic ulcer, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, and nausea - fatigue, drowsiness, skin discoloration, and migraine. The study found none of these to be an issue, however, participants taking the multivitamin were more likely to suffer from rashes.

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