Posted March 3, 2008 – Vitamin supplements do not protect against lung cancer, according to a study of more than 77,000 vitamin users. In fact, some supplements may even increase the risk of developing it.
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Vitamin E can increase the risk of developing lung cancer, according to the study, published in the March issue of the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
"Our study of supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and foliate did not show any evidence for a decreased risk of lung cancer," wrote the study's author, Christopher G. Slatore, M.D., of the University of Washington, in Seattle. "Indeed, increasing intake of supplemental vitamin E was associated with a slightly increased risk of lung cancer."
The study used data on 77,126 men and women between the ages 50 and 76 from the Washington State Vitamins and Lifestyle study, looking at their rate of lung cancer over four years. While the increased risk posed by smoking and age weren’t surprising, the link to vitamin E was.
"In contrast to the often assumed benefits or at least lack of harm, supplemental vitamin E was associated with a small increased risk of lung cancer,” Dr. Slatore said. The increased risk equaled 7 percent for every 100 mg a day of vitamin E supplement taken. Source: American Thoracic Society.