Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Certain Vitamin Supplements May Increase Lung Cancer Risk, Especially In Smokers

Date:
March 3, 2008
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Vitamin supplements do not protect against lung cancer, according to a study of more than 77,000 vitamin users. In fact, some supplements may even increase the risk of developing it. These findings have broad public health implications, given the large population of current and former smokers and the widespread use of vitamin supplements.

Vitamin supplements do not protect against lung cancer, according to a study of more than 77,000 vitamin users. In fact, some supplements may even increase the risk of developing it.

"Our study of supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate did not show any evidence for a decreased risk of lung cancer," wrote the study's author, Christopher G. Slatore, M.D., of the University of Washington, in Seattle. "Indeed, increasing intake of supplemental vitamin E was associated with a slightly increased risk of lung cancer."

Dr. Slatore and colleagues selected a prospective cohort of 77,126 men and women between 50 and 76 years of age in the Washington state VITAL (VITamins And Lifestyle) study, and determined their rate of developing lung cancer over four years with respect to their current and past vitamin usage, smoking, and other demographic and medical characteristics.

Of the original cohort, 521 developed lung cancer, the expected rate for a low-risk cohort such as VITAL. But among those who developed lung cancer, in addition to the unsurprising associations with smoking history, family history, and age, there was a slight but significant association between use of supplemental vitamin E and lung cancer.

"In contrast to the often assumed benefits or at least lack of harm, supplemental vitamin E was associated with a small increased risk of lung cancer," said Dr. Slatore.

When modeled continuously, the increased risk was equivalent to a seven percent rise for every 100 mg/day. "This risk translates into a 28 percent increased risk of lung cancer at a dose of 400 mg/day for ten years," wrote Dr. Slatore. The increased risk was most prominent in current smokers.

The idea that vitamin supplements are healthy, or at the very least, do no harm, comes from the desire of many people to mimic the benefits of a healthy diet with a convenient pill says Tim Byers, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in an editorial in the same issue of the journal. However, he points out, "fruits contain not only vitamins but also many hundreds of other phytochemical compounds whose functions are not well understood."

The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Cancer Society recommend two servings of fruit each day, based on a study that previously found a 20 percent increase in cancer risk among people who ate the least amount of fruit. This recommendation "would likely lead to a reduced risk for lung cancer, as well as reduced risk of several other cancers and cardiovascular disease," writes Dr. Byers. "However, any benefit to the population of smokers from increasing fruit intake to reduce cancer risk by 20 percent would be more than offset if even a small proportion of smokers decided to continue tobacco use in favor of such a diet change."

These findings have broad public health implications, given the large population of current and former smokers and the widespread use of vitamin supplements. "Future studies may focus on other components of fruits and vegetables that may explain the decreased risk [of cancer] that has been associated with fruits and vegetables," writes Dr. Slatore. "Meanwhile," he says, "our results should prompt clinicians to counsel patients that these supplements are unlikely to reduce the risk of lung cancer and may be detrimental."

The findings were published in the first issue for March of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Certain Vitamin Supplements May Increase Lung Cancer Risk, Especially In Smokers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080229075222.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2008, March 3). Certain Vitamin Supplements May Increase Lung Cancer Risk, Especially In Smokers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080229075222.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Certain Vitamin Supplements May Increase Lung Cancer Risk, Especially In Smokers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080229075222.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins