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Taking Multivitamins Lowers the Risk of Breast Cancer Mortality by 30%

Taking Multivitamins Lowers the Risk of Breast Cancer Mortality by 30%

If you are like most women, you take breast health very seriously by performing monthly self-exams and having mammograms as directed by your doctor. Unfortunately, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2013, doctors will diagnose more than 230,000 women in the U.S. with invasive breast cancer and 39,620 women will die from the disease.1

New research released by Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, a leading epidemiologist and research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, however, gives hope to women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. After analyzing data of 7,728 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, Dr. Wassertheil-Smoller and her team discover that women who took multivitamin supplements on a regular basis increased their chances of survival by 30 percent when compared to those who did not take the supplements.2

Women’s Health Initiative data demonstrates benefit of multivitamin supplements

Dr. Wassertheil-Smoller and her team used data collected by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), which is a 15-year women’s health study sponsored by National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. One of the purposes of the WHI is to identify effective dietary and nutritional strategies to pervert heart disease, bone fractures, and breast cancer in women over 50 who have gone through menopause.3

Out of the 161,608 women, ages 50 to 79, who participated in the study between 1993 and 1998, the research team identified 7,728 who had been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. These women agreed to provide detailed and comprehensive information about their lives, including whether they took any supplements, for the seven-year duration of the study.

When the research team completed the data analysis, they found 38 percent of the participant took multivitamin supplements on a regular basis. The majority of these women boosted their nutritional regimen with the supplements prior to their diagnosis of invasive breast cancer.

When Dr. Wassertheil-Smoller and her team compared the survival rates of this group and the women who did not take the supplements, they found women who took multivitamins had a survival rate 30 percent higher than women who chose not to take them.

It is important to note that the scientists controlled for other variables, such as smoking, diet, age, and family history that might provide alternative explanations for their findings.

Leverage the health benefits of multivitamins

You might have noted that most of the women who improved their chances of beating invasive breast cancer took multivitamins before they were diagnosed with breast cancer. This suggests that it is never too early to start taking multivitamin supplements. So take a look at our comparison of over 100 multivitamins for women and choose a supplement that fits your needs.

 

References

1American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Key Statistics. 2013. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-key-statistics .

2Wassertheil-Smoller, S., McGinn, A.P, Budrys, N., Chlebowski, R., Ho, G.Y., Johnson, K.C., Lane, D.S., Li, W., Neuhouser, M.L., Saquib, J., Shikany, J.M., Song, Y., Thomson, C. Multivitamin and mineral use and breast cancer mortality in older women with invasive breast cancer in the Women’s Health Initiative. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2013. doi 10.1007/s10549-013-2712-x

3Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Women’s Health Initiative: WHI Overview n.d. Retrieved from https://cleo.whi.org/about/SitePages/About%20WHI.aspx.

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