February 9, 2009 (BRONX, NY) The largest study ever conducted on postmenopausal women shows that multivitamins may offer no benefit in reducing the risk of common cancers, cardiovascular disease or overall mortality. The study, published today in Archives of Internal Medicine, also shows that multivitamins do not increase the risk for these conditions.
The research was conducted as part of the Women's Health Initiative Clinical Trials and the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Observational Study. Combined, the two studies include data from 161,808 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79. Of that group, 41.5 percent used multivitamins over 15 study years. This latest study found no overall associations between multivitamin use and breast, colorectal, endometrial, kidney, bladder, stomach, ovary, or lung cancer. Researchers also found no association between multivitamin use and cardiovascular disease and death.
The study was led by Marian L. Neuhouser, Ph.D., R.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, in conjunction with others from national WHI clinical centers, including Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Dr. Wassertheil-Smoller is the principal investigator of the WHI study at Einstein.
Researchers collected data for the multivitamin study during participants' clinic visits. Clinic staff transcribed the ingredients for each supplement, and then grouped them according to three classifications. The most common category (35 percent) was multivitamins with minerals, followed by multivitamins alone (3.5 percent) and stress multivitamins (2.3 percent).
"Based on our results, if you fall into the category of the women described here, and you do in fact have an adequate diet, there really is no reason to take a multivitamin," explained Dr. Wassertheil-Smoller.
According to the mos
|Contact: Michael Heller|
Albert Einstein College of Medicine