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Vitamins A, C and E
May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

Important New Research Demonstrates Benefits
Of Antioxidants, Carotenoids, and Vitamins
For Cancer Risk Reduction

Supplementation with vitamins A, C, and E is “strongly
associated” with lower levels of colon cancer, according
to a new study.

The research, published in the journal Cancer Causes
Control, claims that supplementation with multivitamins,
especially those containing vitamins A, C, E, and folate
are linked to lower risks of colon cancer.

“Total intakes of vitamins A, C, and E were associated
with 24-30 percent lower risks of colon cancer...,” wrote
the researchers, specialists of nutritional epidemiology
at Harvard Medical School.

“After adjusting for other colon cancer risk factors, the
inverse associations for total intakes of vitamins A, C,
and E were attenuated slightly, but remained statistically
significant,” they added.

Vitamins A, C, E, and folic acid have previously been
suggested to reduce the risks of colon cancer because
of their high anti-oxidant power and potential anti-cancer

A small number of observational studies have investigated
the links between vitamins A, C, and E intake and colon
cancer risk - with inconsistent results, report the authors.

The aims of the new research were to evaluate the
associations between vitamins A, C, and E and risk of
colon cancer, using primary data from 13 previous cohort
studies with over 650,000 participants.

Strong Link Established...
Dietary intakes of vitamin A, C, and E were found to
be not associated with colon cancer risk. However the
researchers reported a strong inverse association for the
vitamins when looking at dietary and supplementary
multivitamin intake.

Multivitamin use, especially in combination with individual
vitamin supplements, was reported to be significantly
associated with a reduced colon cancer risk, while
increased folate intake was also related to a lower risk.

“After adjusting for folate intake, the inverse association
between total vitamin A intake and risk of colon cancer...
were no longer statistically significant, whereas the inverse
associations between total intakes of vitamins C and E and
risk of colon cancer... remained statistically significant,”
stated the authors.

Mechanisms To Break Free Radical Chain Reactions
The authors noted that there are “plausible biologic
mechanisms support our results”, suggesting total
vitamin C and E intakes may  be associated with a
decreased risk of colon cancer due to their ability to
break “free radical chain reactions”, and act as electron
donors to reduce reactive radicals and iron.

However the researchers concluded that the reported
inverse associations with vitamin C and E intakes could
be also due to the vitamins’ high correlations with folate
intake - which has a similar inverse association with
colon cancer.

“We cannot rule out the possibility that the apparent
protective effects of total vitamin C and E intakes and of
multivitamin supplement use against colon cancer were
due to their positive correlations with total folate intake
or intakes of other vitamins present in multivitamins
such as vitamin B6,” wrote the researchers.

“An inverse association with multivitamin use, a major
source of folate and other vitamins, deserves further study,”
they added.

Source: Cancer Causes Control (Published online)
“Intakes of vitamins A, C, and E and use of multiple
vitamin supplements and risk of colon cancer: a pooled
analysis of prospective cohort studies”

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