Multivitamin Supplements and Breast Cancer

Multivitamin Supplements and Breast CancerBy: Michael Greger, M.D., a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker.

A Harvard study of what tens of thousands of women ate in high school found that “dietary intake of fiber and nuts during adolescence influences subsequent risk of breast disease and may suggest a viable means for breast cancer prevention.” And the protection from nuts was independent of fiber:

Results for nuts were essentially the same with additional adjustment for fiber, suggesting that in addition to fiber, the inverse associations between nut intake and proliferative benign breast disease risk may also be attributable to nutrients other than fiber in nuts.” Nuts, after all, are packed with vitamins and minerals, but wouldn’t it be easier just to take a multivitamin than eating all that PB&J?

Last year a study of 35,000 women was published on the association between multivitamin use and breast cancer rates. “

Many women use multivitamins in the belief that these supplements will prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, whether the use of multivitamins affects the risk of breast cancer is unclear.” Well, it just got clearer: what do you think they found?

Multivitamins for breast cancer prevention: Harmful, harmless, or helpful? 40% of women in the United States take a multivitamin, spending $4 billion dollars to do so. Is this money well spent, is it just a waste of money? No, it is worse. They are in fact paying to increase their risk of breast cancer. “These results suggest that multivitamin use is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.”

The researchers suggest it may be the folic acid that’s the culprit, something I talked about in a previous video, whereas the doubling of prostate cancer risk tied to multivitamin use is thought due to the zinc content.

From the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine last year. Should healthy people take a multivitamin? No.

 “At least it won’t hurt,” may not be true”

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Video Sources

Caballero B. Should healthy people take a multivitamin? Cleve Clin J Med. 2010 Oct;77(10):656-7.

Su X, Tamimi RM, Collins LC, Baer HJ, Cho E, Sampson L, Willett WC, Schnitt SJ, Connolly JL, Rosner BA, Colditz GA. Intake of fiber and nuts during adolescence and incidence of proliferative benign breast disease. Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Jul;21(7):1033-46

Park SY, Murphy SP, Wilkens LR, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN. Multivitamin use and the risk of mortality and cancer incidence: the multiethnic cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Apr 15;173(8):906-14.

Zhang Y, Coogan P, Palmer JR, Strom BL, Rosenberg L. Vitamin and mineral use and risk of prostate cancer: the case-control surveillance study. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Jul;20(5):691-8.

Larsson SC, Akesson A, Bergkvist L, Wolk A. Multivitamin use and breast cancer incidence in a prospective cohort of Swedish women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1268-72.

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  1. roqueta2014 says:

    Very interesting information! Thank you for sharing it!


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