A new study finds that daily multivitamins modestly lowered the risk for cancer in healthy male doctors who took them for more than a decade.
The results are a surprise because many previous studies of single vitamins have not found they can prevent chronic diseases, and some vitamins have turned out to be harmful.
The new study is the first large test of multivitamins for cancer prevention. The pills lowered the risk of developing cancer by 8 percent, which is less of a reduction than people can achieve by eating a healthy diet, exercising and not smoking.
The study involved healthy, older male doctors, so the results may not apply to women or younger men. The study was discussed at a cancer conference today and published in a medical journal.