Monday, June 04, 2007

vitamins and pancreatic cancer

investigators combined data from four large studies and found that people who were at or below normal body weight decreased their risk for developing pancreatic cancer if they took in high levels of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate from food.

The study determined that their risk was 81 percent, 73 percent, and 59 percent lower, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate respectively, compared with participants who did not eat as much of these nutrients or who weighed more.

The researchers also say that they uncovered another interesting trend that some people who received these nutrients from multivitamin pills had an increased risk of developing the disease. According to the researchers, individuals who said they used multivitamins, and whose blood showed traces of these nutrients, had a 139 percent increased relative risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

No one knows why vitamin pills may not help ward off cancer, or why, in this study, it might have a deleterious effect, Dr. Schernhammer said, but some research in animals suggests that "if there is a dormant tumor, folate and other similar vitamins may stimulate growth." That might be especially true if a person did not take in enough of these nutrients consistently through diet, and then suddenly started taking multivitamins in an effort to become healthy, she said.

A variety of studies have shown health benefits from getting a lot of vitamins from food, vs. increased risk from taking vitamin in pills.

I expect some of this is due to such things as interactions and balance among nutrients, and the intake of nutrients from food that are not in multivitamins, as well as the possiblity of "fertilization" of dormat cancer.

But I wonder if the fact that much of our vitamins come from China could account for some of the detrimental effects of vitamin supplements? Eg., almost all vitamin C comes from China. China shows the result of excessive Capitalism/free markets/libertarianism/freedom from governmen regulations situations. Of course, anybody who knows a little about history could have predicted such problems.

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