Vitamins C, E, beta carotene fail to cut cancer risk among women

December 31st, 2008 - 11:40 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 31 (IANS) Women who take beta carotene or vitamin C or E or a combination of the supplements face a similar risk of cancer as women who do not take them, according to fresh data. Studies have suggested that people whose diets are high in fruits and vegetables, and thus antioxidants, may have a lower risk of cancer.

Results from randomised trials that address the issue, however, have been inconsistent and have rarely supported that observation.

In the current study, Jennifer Lin, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues tested the impact of antioxidant supplements on cancer incidence in a randomised controlled trial.

A total of 7,627 women who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to take vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta-carotene, according to a Harvard release.

Overall, 624 women developed cancer and 176 died from cancer during the follow-up time. Compared with a placebo, the relative risk of a new cancer diagnosis was 1.11 for women who took vitamin C, 0.93 for women who took vitamin E, and 1.00 for women who took beta carotene. None of these relative risks was statistically significantly different from 1.

“Supplementation with vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta carotene offers no overall benefits in the primary prevention of total cancer incidence or cancer mortality,” the authors concluded.

The results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sci-Tech |