Supplements don't cut lung cancer risk

March 4, 2008 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Supplements don't cut lung cancer risk

Taking vitamin supplements will not lower your risk of developing lung cancer, and taking vitamin E supplements may actually slightly raise the risk, say researchers from the University of Washington.

In this study, 77,721 people aged 50 to 76 tracked their use of supplements for one decade. Multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate supplements were analyzed to see if their use would offer protection from lung cancer.

A four year follow-up showed that none of the supplements were tied to a reduced risk of lung cancer.

People who took vitamin E at a dose of 400 IU per day for ten years had a 28 percent increased risk of developing lung cancer compared to those that didn't supplement with this vitamin.

The risk of lung cancer was particularly high in smokers who supplemented with vitamin E.

Previous research has shown that people taking beta-carotene supplements, particularly smokers, have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than those who did not.

Other studies have also failed to show that vitamin supplements can reduce the risk of stomach, colorectal, breast and lung cancers. Meanwhile, many studies have linked eating vitamin-rich foods to reduced cancer risk.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that appears to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. The recommendation for daily vitamin E intake is 15 milligrams for healthy adults. Foods that are high vitamin E include almonds, avocados, sunflower oil, hazelnuts and wheat germ.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, lung cancer will kill about 390 Canadians every week, affecting more people than prostate and breast cancer combined.

For more information on how to reduce cancer risk with diet, read Cooking with Foods that Fight Cancer, our March 2008 cookbook review.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.