Multivitamins and Cancer… The Truth You Won’t Hear on TV

In All Health Watch, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article, Lung Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Skin Cancer by Natural Health Dossier2 Comments

A major study has just been released.  The nightly news has been all over it. It’s made its way into every major newspaper. But dig a bit deeper…

You’ll see it’s just another case of “don’t believe everything you read.”

The study appears in JAMA (Journal of the Medical Association).1 The data came from the Physicians’ Healthy Study II. It involved 14,641 male doctors over age 50. About 1,300 of the men had a history of cancer when the study started in 1997.

Half the men took a multivitamin for up to 10 years. Half took a placebo.  During the study, they all stayed active, ate a healthy diet, and were fairly lean.

At the end of the study, the “vitamin men” had 12% fewer cancers overall. They also had 12% fewer deaths from cancer. Prostate cancers were down, but not by much.

Sounds good on the surface, right? Not so fast.  Let’s look closer at the details.

The multivitamin they studied was Centrum.  Yes, the one that sits on every grocery and drugstore shelf.

We dug a little deeper to learn more about Centrum… and all those other Big Pharma multivitamins. It’s an eye-opener… because it really speaks to the QUALITY of those pills.

Oh, by the way, we also checked the SPONSORS of that study…

There it was… Pfizer, maker of Centrum, helped sponsor this study on Centrum!

“The truth of the matter is that many — if not most — of vitamin studies are completely worthless, as they use isolated synthetic vitamins or low quality multivitamin supplements loaded with toxic fillers and synthetic ingredients,” writes Anthony Gucciardi, with The Natural Society.2

Toxic fillers? Synthetic ingredients? Those hardly sound like weapons that will help you prevent cancer. In fact, the Centrum Silver label lists at least two toxic ingredients – BHT (an additive used in jet fuel) and cupric oxide (a fungicide).3

Also, when you take a synthetic pill, there’s no real assurance that the pill works the same as a natural supplement. The synthetic version of vitamin E might disrupt the hormone system. But the natural form of vitamin E – derived from food – is reliable. The ingredient is from nature. It protects against free radicals, aging, and chronic health disorders.4

So what can we learn from this?

After participating in the Centrum study, a top cancer expert advised making sure you get a wide variety of vitamins in your diet.5

We can’t argue with that.

Take a high-quality food-based multivitamin. Make sure it’s made with 100% organic ingredients or superfoods. And buy it at a health food store.

Some people choose to take individual vitamin supplements. That’s also fine.

Vitamin D3 helps prevent colon and breast cancer. It also protects against diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and much more.6 During the winter, take at least 2,000 IU vitamin D daily.7 Plus, expose your body to sunlight frequently (without burning).8

Take vitamin C, lutein, folic acid, and vitamin E, too. These prevent cancer of the stomach, esophagus, lung, oral cavity and pharynx, endometrium, pancreas, and colon.9

Of course, vitamin supplements can’t replace a healthy diet. It’s critical to eat lots of raw fruits and veggies like: carrots, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, grapes, berries, and tomatoes. Make sure they’re organic, so you’re getting all the nutrients minus the chemicals.10

We hope this much is clear:

Multivitamins can be good for you. Just not Centrum or any others the big companies are pushing on you. And, don’t believe the study you saw on the evening news. Yes, it may have some merit, but it may have hidden dangers, too.

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  1. I have no connection with Centrum or any nutritional product, company or organization. Still, I find your critique of the study’s findings flawed. Your characterization of this study as essentially worthless is based solely on the fact that it tracks use of a commercial multivitamin formula. But you did not discuss two vital points: (1)Irrespective of the multivitamin formula used, how valid was this particular Physicians Health Study? (2)Based on which specific other study results do you conclude hidden dangers, and to what degree of danger, of this specific Centrum formula used in the Physicians Health Study?

    Your citations meant to buttress your conclusions are either very general or do not deal with the specifics of the reported Physicians Health Study.

  2. The article stated that Centrum contains cupric oxide, but if you look at the ingredients, it contains cupric sulfate, not cupric oxide. Cupric oxide may have been used as a source of supplemental copper in Centrum in the past, but this form of copper has fallen out of favor since its absorption is close to zero. If a non-absorbable form of copper was used for most of the time the study was being conducted, then the participants were getting zinc but essentially no copper in the supplement. Zinc supplementation can cause copper deficiency, which can impair immune function and also increase cardiovascular disease risk. That could explain in part the less-than-exciting results with respect to cancer prevention, as well as the study reported today saying that Centrum Silver did not prevent heart disease in healthy male physicians. Does anyone know whether Centrum used to contain cupric oxide?

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