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Research: Multivitamins Do Offer Cancer Protection After All

Vitamins yes. Vitamins no. Vitamins… well, yes.

A study just published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed 15,000 older male doctors for more than 10 years, with half the doctors taking a daily multivitamin and half  taking a fake vitamin pill. The result: The doctors taking the multivitamins developed eight percent fewer cancers. As reported in the New York Times, the vitamins didn’t protect against prostate cancer, so statistically, the benefits for other forms were in the 12 percent range. (Too bad the study didn’t include any women; there’s no information on, for example, breast or ovarian cancer.)

Several of the doctors were surprised by the results.  The latest official Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 says there’s no evidence that taking a multivitamin can prevent chronic disease, a position based on previous studies of vitamins.  According to the Times, “Dr. David Chapin, 73, a gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston who participated in the trial, said that although he had ‘never believed’ in vitamins, he might start taking a daily multivitamin now.”

Why the difference in the most recent results? One theory is that the doctors might have been more diligent than most research subjects about taking their vitamins every day.

Take your vitamins!

Read more in the New York Times.

Photo: © Kolaczan | Dreamstime.com

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