High multivitamin use can increase prostate cancer risk
May 17, 2007 - 10:59:15 AM

New York, May 17 - Men who take a lot of multivitamins regularly may be increasing their risk of prostate cancer, say US researchers.

The findings of a study on 300,000 men by researchers, led by Dr Karla Lawson of the US National Cancer Institute, indicated that the risk of advanced prostate cancer is 32 percent higher in men who take multivitamins more than once a day than in those who do not take them at all.

The study showed taking multivitamins more than seven times a week was associated with an increased risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancer.

It is still not entirely clear what factors can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. The correlation was strongest for men with a family history of the disease, and who also took multivitamins like selenium, beta-carotene or zinc supplements.

The scientists are also unsure of why the multivitamins may increase the risk of certain types of prostate cancer.

'The possibility that men taking high levels of multivitamins along with other supplements have increased risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancers is of concern and merits further evaluation,' Lawson said.

Because multivitamins contain so many different components and men taking a lot of them were more likely to be taking other supplements, the researchers were unable to find out what was causing the association, said online edition of BBC News.

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