Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Heavy Multivitamin Use: A New Concern

Another study was released today by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute fueling concern among researchers and doctors regarding overall supplement usage among the general population.

This particular study focused on the use of multivitamins finding that, along with familial risk and the intake of other supplements, male heavy users ( over 7 days a week ) were found to have increased advanced prostrate cancer risk:

"The researchers found no association between multivitamin use and the risk of localized prostate cancer. But they did find an increased risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancer among men who used multivitamins more than seven times a week, compared with men who did not use multivitamins. The association was strongest in men with a family history of prostate cancer and men who also took selenium, beta-carotene, or zinc supplements."

Though there are limitations to the study, and it did not clearly identify how these variables tied together, it indicates just how complex supplement interactions can be as well as a possible specific negative consequence of excessive ingestion of these products.

"Millions of Americans take multivitamins because of a belief in their potential health benefits, even though there is limited scientific evidence that they prevent chronic disease. Researchers have wondered what impact multivitamin use might have on cancer risk."

This study provides another piece of the answer. Hopefully the level of awareness relating to possible ramifications of supplement support will reach the general awareness, but I have my doubts. The psuedoscientific interpretations will start ad nauseoum twisting and molding these results to fit unrealistic views.

Interestingly, an accompanying editorial mentions concern for antioxidant supplementation, an issue alluded to in this post two days ago.

"In an accompanying editorial, Goran Bjelakovic, M.D., of the University of Nis in Serbia, and Christian Gluud, M.D., of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, discuss the positive and negative health effects of antioxidant supplements. “Lawson [and colleagues] add to the growing evidence that questions the beneficial value of antioxidant vitamin pills in generally well-nourished populations and underscore the possibility that antioxidant supplements could have unintended consequences for our health,” the authors write."

Taking advise from ill informed sources promoting pseudo nutrition ("paranormal" nutrition) can lead to unintended consequences. This study helps underscore how important it is to heed the real certified nutritionists, health care professionals, and agencies promoting sensible eating practices.

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