Not missing your daily dose of multivitamin doesn’t just keep your body healthy but may also lower down your risk of cancer, a new study suggests.
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital analysed data of 15,000 men who took multivitamins each day and compared them to those who had sugar pills. After following these people for ten years, they found that those who took multivitamins had lower risk of cancer as compared to those who took a dummy pill. But since the study only involved men, the researchers do not know whether taking multivitamins would have similar results in women and children.
The researchers noted that for every 1,000 men who took multivitamins each year, 17 of them had cancer. Meanwhile, 18 out of 1,000 men who took the dummy pill developed the disease.
According to Dr Helga Groll from the Cancer Research UK, although the participants in the trial who took multivitamins showed a slightly lower risk of cancer, it is not sure whether that is the true effect or is just a product of chance.
Diet – still the main source of vitamins
Experts say that eating a diet that’s full of fruits and vegetables is still the best way to obtain essential vitamins than taking pills.
People who have cancer and those who survived from it are encouraged to create a total diet overhaul, focusing more on healthier food choices. A healthy meal plan is composed of fruits, vegetables, protein, fibre, good fats, and salt.
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of these essential nutrients. To lower the risk of developing cancer and other serious diseases, nutritionists recommend eating at least five portions of these foods every day, a portion being equivalent to 80g or 3oz.
And since fruits and veggies have different levels of vitamins and minerals, it is recommended that they are consumed in variety. Moreover, a glass (150ml) of fruit juice is already considered one portion.
Protein and starch should not be ignored as well. Starchy foods like rice, cereals, and potatoes are great source of carbohydrates necessary for the body to process energy. Meanwhile, meat, eggs, cheese, dairy products and other protein-rich foods help in the repair of damaged cells and in the production of new ones.
More Ways to Prevent Cancer
Stay active. Physical exercises are indispensable to a healthy lifestyle. Exercising doesn’t just strengthen the muscles but also reduces the risk o inflammation in the brain that is linked to mental health disorders. Furthermore, exercising helps flush away toxins in the body that cause cancer.
Fast on a regular basis. Research shows that intermittent fasting significantly lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer, and also prevents obesity. Fasting lowers the production of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) that is linked to aging and many other diseases.
Establish closer ties with family and friends. Stress is another risk factor of cancer. When the body is always stressed, the brain tends to produce high levels of cortisol (hormones that are linked various diseases). Having close relationships with friends and relatives is one way to lower down stress and at the same time, improve one’s sense of wellbeing.
Sources of this article:
Vitamins may reduce cancer risk in men, study finds, BBC News
A healthy eating guide, Macmillan Cancer Support