Women who took beta carotene or vitamin C or E or a combination of the supplements had a similar risk of cancer as women who did not take the supplements, according to data from a randomized controlled trial in the December 30 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
People who eat lots of fruits and vegetables get less cancer. But other people do not like to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They'd rather chow down on a Big Mac, a Whopper, or maybe some Twinkies with a chocolate milk shake. Still, veggies and fruits really are the ticket.
Epidemiological studies have suggested that people whose diets are high in fruits and vegetables, and thus antioxidants, may have a lower risk of cancer. Results from randomized trials that address the issue, however, have been inconsistent and have rarely supported that observation.
The problem is knowing what in the foods cut cancer risks. Could be fiber. Could be non-vitamin antioxidants such as polyphenols. Could be minerals like magnesium. Or maybe the veggies with lower glycemic index just reduce the sugar surge after meals and therefore reduce the surge in insulin and other hormones that can stimulate cells to become cancerous. Probably the answer is multiple factors in fruits and vegetables mean it is hard to find a shortcut.
In the current study, Jennifer Lin, Ph.D., of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues tested the impact of antioxidant supplements on cancer incidence in a randomized controlled trial. A total of 7,627 women who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to take vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta-carotene.
With an average of 9.4 years of follow-up time, there was no statistically significant benefit from antioxidant use compared with placebo in terms of disease risk or mortality due to cancer. Overall, 624 women developed cancer and 176 died from cancer during the follow-up time. Compared with placebo, the relative risk of a new cancer diagnosis was 1.11 for women who took vitamin C, 0.93 for women who took vitamin E, and 1.00 for women who took beta carotene. None of these relative risks was statistically significantly different from 1.
Eat good food. Some day scientists will come up with a way to make The Six Dollar Burger and hot dogs as beneficial as cabbage, eggplant, and arugula. But that day hasn't come yet.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 January 02 11:20 PM Aging Diet Cancer Studies|