Do Multivitamins Lower Cancer Risk?

Supplement image courtesy of worradmu/

Multivitamins sure do look great on TV commercials, but is there any research to substantiate their purported benefits?

From a research perspective, I highlited one study in Spotlight: Supplements – Multivitamins by the American Journal of Medicine which suggested that multivitamins are a great natural inflammation-fighting tool.  As a natural inflammation fighter, multivitamins may support health and longevity because inflammation has emerged as a major contributor to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and aging in general.


Also, from a research perspective, the Journal of the American Medical Association (2012) recently published the first large scale trial with 14,600 men over an 11 year span. This trial, called the Physician’s Health Study II, included men aged 50 or older who took either a multivitamin or a placebo.  After 11 years, the results indicated there was an 8% lower risk of cancer in the men who were given the multi than in those who got the placebo.

True Health Unlimited’s Take

If you’re a multivitamin taker, the Physician’s Health Study II is good news, especially for men.  This study is the strongest evidence so far that a multivitamin may slightly lower cancer risk, (at least in men).

Many of the previous studies with multivitamins typically found no lower risk for multivitamin takers, but since these studies did not compare a multivitamin to a placebo, they tend to carry less significance.

Overall, multivitamins have some merit, but I would not expect that taking them will reduce a person’s risk for cancer significantly. Additionally, due to concerns with limitations on the oversight of the dietary supplement industry, I recommend supplement users expand their knowledge by reading the Spotlight: Supplements – Multivitamins article to determine the multivitamin products that are known to be tested and true, and learn some of the related recommendations for intake, potential drug interactions, side effects, etc.

Discover more Tested and True supplements…

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Defined

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Fish Oil

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Krill Oil

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Multivitamins

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Vitamin D

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Calcium

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ-10)

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Probiotics

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Muscle Enhancers – Creatine

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Muscle Enhancers – Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Nutrition Bars

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Nutrition Drinks & Powders

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Weight Loss Accelerators and Appetite Controllers

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Mood Booster SAM-e

Go to Spotlight: Supplements – Tested and True: Mood Booster St. Johns’ Wort

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*Ref: Consumer Reports on Health, Nutrition Action Health Newsletter, 2012.


About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is the true health guy. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT & Wellness Writers, a subscription wellness newsletter service that incorporates live & virtual wellness workshops for companies across New England. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 20 years of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 25 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his wife) founded Wellness Writers and deliver evidence-based Wellness E-newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various businesses throughout the US. Dave currently serves as a personal trainer in Tolland as well as a wellness coach and writer for several businesses, gyms and wellness facilities throughout the US.

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