Posts Tagged ‘Cancer’

Study doubts multivitamin benefit vs. cancer, heart disease

Popping a multivitamin might make you feel healthier, but research out today suggests the benefit might be all in your head.

Half of all Americans routinely take dietary supplements, a $20-billion-a-year market, and multivitamins are the most commonly used, the authors write in the Archives of Internal Medicine

“People want to take control of their health,” says lead author Marian Neuhouser, an associate member of the Public Health Sciences Division at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “Taking a multivitamin kind of empowers people, because they are in charge of that behavior.”

Neuhouser’s study focused on nearly 162,000 postmenopausal women in the government-sponsored Women’s Health Initiative, best-known for hormone therapy research. About four out of 10 said they took multivitamins.

At the end of eight years of follow-up, multivitamin users were just as likely as non-users to have died or been diagnosed with common cancers — those of the breast or lung, to name two — or suffered a heart attack or stroke.

Although the study involved only postmenopausal women, “our findings are consistent with most previously published results,” the authors write.

“Nutritional efforts should remain a principal focus of chronic disease prevention,” they write, but without “definitive results” from a trial in which people are randomly assigned to take a multivitamin or a placebo pill, “multivitamin supplements will not likely play a major role.”

In a statement, Andrew Shao, a vice president at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade group, said, “multivitamins, like all other dietary supplements, are meant to be used as part of an overall healthy lifestyle; they are not intended to be magic bullets that will assure the prevention of chronic diseases like cancer.”

But, says Neuhouser, taking a multivitamin doesn’t make up for a diet lacking in nutrients.

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BBC NEWS Health Baby boomers; hit by sex cancers

‘Baby boomers’ hit by sex cancers

Sexual “liberation” may have fuelled cancer rates

The arrival of the “swinging sixties” may have heralded a rise in sexually-transmitted cancers, say researchers.

Rates of anal, vulval and vaginal cancers rose for “baby boomers” born in the decades after the Second World War.

The culprit, said the King’s College London study, is the human papillomavirus (HPV), acquired during sex.

Changes in sexual habits may be responsible, the British Journal of

Cancer reported.

These results have revealed a snapshot of just how much rates of these cancers have increased in the post war generations

Dr David Robinson

King’s College London

HPV has been implicated in a number of cancers, including cervical, anal, vulval, vaginal and penile.

Some estimates suggest that up to three out of four people will be infected with it at some point in their lives, although the immune system is normally able to destroy it.

However, if an infection is persistent, it may cause cells to become cancerous.

The King’s College London study, using figures from a cancer database, suggests that rates of some of these cancers rose quickly for the generations born in the 1950s and 1960s.

There has been a steady rise in anal cancer rates over that period in both men and women, but with women born i

via BBC NEWS | Health | ‘Baby boomers’ hit by sex cancers.