The results of a large study have shown that healthy men who took a multivitamin for at least 10 years decreased their risk of cancer by 8%. It may not seem like a lot, but a decrease is a decrease, and when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, cancer risk reduces even more.
One of the participants who took a placebo, Dr. David Chapin, a 73-year-old gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said that although he had “never believed” in vitamins, he might start taking a daily multivitamin now, despite the modest benefit.
“A lot of studies make big news, but when you look at the nitty-gritty, they don’t show all that much,” Chapin said, adding that he recently discovered he had been taking a placebo pill. “This was a very reliable study, it was very well designed and administered, and it went on and on and on.”
When choosing a multivitamin here are some tips.
1. Choose one that contains 100% of the RDA of most nutrients. (For some, nutrients like potassium and calcium, this will not be possible.)
2. Make sure that it does not contain artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
3. Choose one that fits your lifestyle. I personally think that a multivitamin/mineral taken throughout the day provides more benefit than just one a day, but if that is not convenient for you, then look for a true one-a-day multi.
4. Talk to a health care professional to help you choose the best multi for you.