Minerals and Vitamins Reduce the Risk of Bladder Cancer

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cover-mediumMicronutrient deficiencies could provide a possible explanation for why an estimated 25% of the US population who consume the least fruit and vegetables have double the cancer rate.[1] The aim of our study was to investigate the association between major dietary minerals and vitamins and the risk of bladder cancer in a US population from a region with a high incidence rate.[2]

Objective: Although the effect of fruit and vegetables on the risk of bladder cancer has been widely studied, little is known about their micronutrient components. Our aim was to investigate associations between minerals and vitamins and bladder cancer.

Methods: A case–control study was conducted in New Hampshire, USA. Dietary data were collected from 322 cases and 239 controls using a 121-item food frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using logistic regression adjusting for sex, age, smoking characteristics, and energy intake. [More…]

Results: The ORs (95% CI) for highest quartile versus lowest quartile for total intake of vitamin E was 0.66 (0.36–1.20; p trend = 0.09) and 0.49 (0.21–1.17; p trend = 0.13) for dietary phosphorus. The odds of bladder cancer for heavy smokers with the highest total intake of vitamin E, carotenoids, and niacin were 0.58 (0.34–0.99), 0.62 (0.36– 1.09), and 0.66 (0.39–1.14), respectively. Higher total intakes of carotenoids, vitamin D, thiamin, niacin, and vitamin E were inversely related to bladder cancer risk among older individuals.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest further investigation of the effect of vitamin E, carotenoids, vitamin D, thiamin, and niacin on bladder cancer risk may be warranted. Future studies should focus on high risk groups such as heavy smokers and older individuals.

Bladder cancer is a disease that typically affects older people, and bioavailability of B-group vitamins may be compromised in this demographic by certain drugs (e.g., acid lowering agents),” stated the researchers. “Additionally, vitamin E, like carotenoids acts as an antioxidant and, as suggested by our results, could be more beneficial under conditions of the greatest oxidative stress such as smoking and ageing.[3]


[1] Ames BN. DNA damage from micronutrient deficiencies is likely to be a major cause of cancer. Mutat Res 475:7–20 (2001) View Abstract

[2] Michaud DS, Clinton SK, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Giovannucci E.  Risk of bladder cancer by geographic region in a U.S. cohort of male health professionals. Epidemiology 12:719–726 (2001) View Abstract

[3] Brinkman MT, Karagas MR, Zens MS, Schned A, Reulen RC, Zeegers MP. Minerals and vitamins and the risk of bladder cancer: results from the New Hampshire Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Dec 31. View Abstract View Full Paper



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