Transcript: Multivitamin Supplements and Breast Cancer
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; wouldn’t it be easier, though, then, 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 to do so. Is this money well spent? Is this just a waste of money? No, it’s worse. Women taking multivitamins are, in fact, paying to increase their risk. Conclusion: “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 to be 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.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.
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