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News2008June › Multivitamins: Why one group of women should take them every day › June 2008

Multivitamins: Why one group of women should take them every day

Doctors and researchers have been quick to downplay any benefits of taking a multi-vitamin every day - but a new study has found they can reduce the risk of breast cancer in one group of women

Doctors and researchers have been quick to downplay any benefits of taking a multi-vitamin every day - but a new study has found they can reduce the risk of breast cancer in one group of women.

The vitamins can help reduce the risk of cancer in women aged over 45 who have started the menopause or who drink alcohol.

Researchers from the Brigham and Woman's Hospital and Harvard Medical School made the discovery when they analysed the health records of 37,920 women who were healthy and aged 45 or over.

During a 10-year follow-up period, 1,171 women developed breast cancer. The researchers were expecting to see that multi-vitamin use was a contributory cause of the cancers. But not only were they unable to find link, the researchers also found that the vitamins had a protective effect on women who enjoyed a drink.

(Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, 2008; 167: 1197-1206).


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