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5.coverThe Journal of Nutrition published a review paper looking at whether the long term use of a multivitamin increased or decreased risk of a cardiovascular incident in men.[1] In summary the longer men ingested multivitamins – greater than 20 years being the time frame the authors highlight, the better their chance of avoiding a major CVD event.

Background
Although multivitamins are widely used by US adults, few prospective studies have investigated their association with the long- and short-term risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The shortage of essential micronutrients in the human diet has been linked to multiple health and disease related problems. Dr Bruce Ames has described how the micronutrient triage theory can account for disease induction and more rapid levels of poor quality aging. I have written about the expensive urine myth and how the failure to recognise the differing demands placed by cells at different times can lead to altered and compromised health function.

This paper looks at the nutritional intake of people following a weight loss diet.[1] Based on the USA figures, the authors say that about 1/3 of the population are following some sort of weight loss orientated nutritional programme. The study looked to see if 27 micronutrients could be ingested in sufficient quantities whilst following 4 well known diets to meet minimum RDA levels as determined by the USA regulatory body the FDA.

Prof Bruce Ames has developed the concept of Triage consumption, where micronutrient needs and availability may not always be in synchronicity and has recommended that a larger overall consumption of micronutrients on a daily basis be considered a judicious way to limit DNA damage associated with aging and disease.

I have proposed that the expensive urine criticism is perhaps one of the most damaging of slights, and that Victor Herberts slur on the use of increased exogenous nutrients via supplementation has created more damage to human health than it has saved. A paper out in the American Journal of Nutrition, May 2010 has added some further clarity to this discussion.[1]

There is an area of discovery related to food supplement ingestion and cancer prevention that has been attracting a lot of interest. Namely; does taking food supplement (of mostly indeterminate quality) provide women with a benefit or risk in terms of breast cancer. A recent post reviewed a study of Swedish women,[1] where the indications were of increased risk, compared to other studies that were either indicative of reduced risk, or benign.

This latest study suggests women who take multivitamin tablets along with calcium supplements seem to have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Interestingly the Swedish study also indicated that calcium was a mineral of benefit for reducing risk.

Multivitamins have recently been flagged in a March 2010 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article to raise the risk of developing breast cancer amongst a group of Swedish Women.[1] Naturally this paper sounds both alarming and contradictory and merits deeper investigation. Particularly as it is directly opposed by a paper out just 3 month previously in the Public Health Nutrition Journal when a group of nearly 3,000 women with breast cancer were compared to a similar number of controls in relation to the potential risk for breast cancer and multivitamins.[2] This study concluded:

The current study found no association between multivitamin supplement use and breast cancer risk in women.

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