(Health Secrets) If you have been wondering if there is any benefit of multivitamins, here is an answer. Taking a daily multivitamin could reduce the risk of middle aged men developing cancer by 8% according to a large long term study into multivitamin use. According to the researchers, taking a good multivitamin every day should be widely recommended in the fight against cancer.
The study was a large trial conducted by Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The trial involved 14,641 men over the age of 50, who were all health professionals.
The men involved in the study were divided into two groups, which were comparable in terms of age, medical history, and cancer risk factors. One group was given a daily multivitamin to take and the other was given a placebo tablet. The trial was double blind meaning that neither the participants nor the researchers knew who was taking which type of tablet during the trial.
The participants were followed for a period of around 11 years using questionnaires and medical records. During this period there were 2,669 cases of cancer, 1,373 of which were prostate cancer, and 210 of which were bowel cancer. The results of the study showed that the risk of developing cancer among the group taking the daily multivitamin was 8% lower than the risk of developing cancer among the group that was taking a placebo.
Although the link between multivitamins and the reduction in cancer risk is not entirely clear, one of the researchers suggests that it is due to the improved nutritional status of those taking multivitamins. Dr Howard Sesso said: “Many studies have suggested that eating a nutritious diet may reduce a man’s risk of developing cancer. Now we know that taking a daily multivitamin, in addition to addressing vitamin and mineral deficiencies, may also be considered in the in middle-aged and older men.”
Why We Should All Take Multivitamins
If reducing the risk of developing cancer isn’t enough to persuade us to reach for the multivitamins, there are a whole host of other benefits to consider. The increased nutritional intake from taking a regular multivitamin can:
- Increase energy levels
- Reduce stress levels
- Strengthen immune systems
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
But shouldn’t we be able to get all the vitamins we need, and the minerals too for that matter, from the food that we eat? While it is true that we are designed to receive all the essential nutrients our bodies need from our diet, in the modern world this is unfortunately rarely possible. Diets that consist of highly processed foods certainly won’t contain high levels of vitamins and minerals, and even if we eat a diet of mainly fresh foods, the depletion of nutrients in the soil means that they are also unlikely to contain the vitamins and minerals they are supposed to.
Even if our food does contain decent levels of vitamins and minerals, transportation, storage, and cooking can all reduce the nutrient content, and the poor state of most of our digestive systems means that we find it hard to absorb the nutrients we do consume. While a multivitamin should never replace a healthy balanced diet, it is a fantastic way to ensure we are not deficient in the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need.