Vitamin supplementation and prostate cancer risk

January 01, 0001

Vitamin supplementation and prostate cancer risk

A number of benefits have been ascribed to vitamin and mineral supplementation, sometimes without much evidence. These Canadian researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to address this question, searching Pubmed, Embase and the Cochrane Database for randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cohort studies and case-control studies. References in key studies were hand searched as well.

The researchers found: "Fourteen articles were included in the final assessment. Individually, a few of these studies showed a relationship between the ingestion of supplemental vitamins or minerals and the incidence or severity of prostate cancer, especially in smokers. However, neither the use of multivitamin supplementation nor the use of individual vitamin/mineral supplementation affected the overall occurrence of prostate cancer or the occurrence of advanced/metastatic prostate cancer or death from prostate cancer when the results of the studies were combined in a meta-analysis. We also conducted several sensitivity analyses by running meta-analysis using just the higher quality studies and just the RCTs. There were still no associations found."

The researchers concluded: "There is no convincing evidence that the use of supplemental multivitamins or any specific vitamin affects the occurrence or severity of prostate cancer. There was high heterogeneity among the studies so it is possible that unidentified subgroups may benefit or be harmed by the use of vitamins."

This meta-analysis finds no benefit to vitamin and mineral supplementation and prostate cancer risk.

For the full abstract, click here.

Family Practice 28(3):243-252, June 2011
© 2011 The Author
The effect of supplemental vitamins and minerals on the development of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Julie Stratton and Marshall Godwin. Correspondence to Marshall Godwin: [email protected]

Category: Y. Male Genital System. Keywords: prostate, cancer, prevention, vitamin, mineral, systematic review with meta-analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 7 June 2011

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.