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1.  Antioxidants Vitamin C and Vitamin E for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer 
To evaluate the evidence of the supplements vitamin C and vitamin E for treatment and prevention of cancer.
Systematic review of trials and meta-analysis.
Thirty-eight studies showed scant evidence that vitamin C or vitamin E beneficially affects survival. In the ATBC Cancer Prevention Study Group, no statistically significant effect of treatment was seen for any cancer individually, and our pooled relative risk (regardless of tumor type) for α-tocopherol alone was 0.91 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.74, 1.12). All cause mortality was not significant. In the Linxian General Population Trial, the relative risks for cancer death for vitamin C (combined with molybdenum) was 1.06 (95% CI: 0.92, 1.21) and for vitamin E (combined with β-carotene and selenium) was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.76, 1.00). We identified only 3 studies that reported statistically significant beneficial results: vitamin C (in combination with BCG) was found to be beneficial in a single trial of bladder cancer and vitamin E (in combination with ω-3 fatty acid) increased survival in patients with advanced cancer. In the ATBC trial, in analyses of 6 individual cancers, the prevention of prostate cancer in subjects treated with α-tocopherol was statistically significant (RR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.44, 0.94).
The systematic review of the literature does not support the hypothesis that the use of supplements of vitamin C or vitamin E in the doses tested helps prevent and/or treat cancer in the populations tested. There were isolated findings of benefit, which require confirmation.
PMCID: PMC1924689  PMID: 16808775
vitamin C; vitamin E; systematic review; cancer; antioxidant
2.  Prospective Study of Serum Cysteine Levels and Oesophageal and Gastric Cancers in China 
Gut  2011;60(5):618-623.
Cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Cysteine, known to be involved in a myriad of immuno-modulatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-carcinogenic pathways, has not been investigated in the aetiology of oesophageal or gastric cancers. To examine the relationship between serum cysteine concentration and risk of these cancers we conducted a nested case-cohort study within the General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial in Linxian, China.
498 oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) and 255 gastric cardia adenocarcinomas (GCA) were matched by age and sex to 947 individuals from the wider cohort. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) using the case-cohort estimator for the Cox proportional hazards models, stratified on age and sex, with adjustment for potential confounders.
Higher concentrations of serum cysteine were significantly associated with a lower risk of both OSCC and GCA. For those in the highest quartile of serum cysteine, compared to those in the lowest, the multivariate HRs were 0.70 for OSCC (95% CI: 0.51, 0.98) and 0.59 for GCA (95% CI: 0.38, 0.91). These associations were dose dependent (P for trend = 0.006 and 0.008, respectively). These inverse associations were not significantly modified by other risk factors, with the exception of age, where a stronger association was noted among persons in the older age strata.
Higher serum concentrations of cysteine were associated with a significantly reduced risk of OSCC and GCA. Cysteine should be further investigated for its potential as a chemopreventive agent for upper gastrointestinal cancers.
PMCID: PMC3428021  PMID: 21242262
oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma; gastric cardia cancer; hazard ratio; cysteine
3.  Hepatitis C Virus Infection, Linxian, China1 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(1):17-21.
The prevalence of HCV infection was high among older citizens of Linxian, China, in 2000.
Bloodborne viruses may have spread in rural China during the past 25 years, but population-based prevalence estimates are lacking. We examined the frequency of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV type 1 (HIV-1) among residents of Linxian, a rural community in Henan Province. In 2000, blood was collected from participants (>55 years of age) who had enrolled in a population-based nutritional intervention trial in 1985. We randomly selected 500 participants for HCV testing and 200 participants for HIV-1 testing. For HCV, 48 (9.6%) of 500 participants were positive by enzyme immunoassay and recombinant immunoblot assay (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.0%–12.2%), and prevalence was lowest in the most geographically isolated participants. Among the HCV-infected participants, 42 had a specimen available from1985, of which 16 (38.1%) were positive for HCV. For HIV-1, 0/200 participants were positive. We conclude that HCV is now a common infection among older adults in Linxian, China.
PMCID: PMC3294338  PMID: 15705317
AIDS; China; epidemiology; hepatitis B virus (HBV); hepatitis C virus (HCV); human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1); liver cancer; prevalence; research
4.  Serum thyroglobulin, a biomarker for iodine deficiency, is not associated with increased risk of upper gastrointestinal cancers in a large Chinese cohort 
Iodine concentrates in gastric tissue and may act as an antioxidant for the stomach. We previously showed that self-reported goiter was associated with significantly increased risk of gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma (GNCA) and non-significantly increased risks of gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in a prospective case-cohort study in a high-risk population in China. Negatively correlated with iodine levels, serum thyroglobulin (Tg) is a more sensitive biomarker of iodine deficiency than goiter. This study aimed to determine whether baseline serum Tg was also associated with development of GNCA, GCA, and ESCC in the same cohort, the Linxian General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial. Sera from approximately 200 subjects of each case type and 400 non-cases were tested for serum Tg concentration using appropriate assays. Tg was modeled as sex- and assay-specific quartiles in Cox regression models adjusted for age, smoking, alcohol, Helicobacter pylori status, pepsinogens I/II ratio, family history, and commune of residence. In the final combined analysis, participants in the highest quartile of serum Tg, compared to those in the lowest quartile, had adjusted Hazard Ratios of 0.88 (95% confidence interval 0.50–1.52), 1.14 (0.63–2.05), and 0.78 (0.47–1.31) for GNCA, GCA, and ESCC, respectively. Using serum Tg, a sensitive biomarker of iodine deficiency, we found no association between serum Tg concentrations and risk of these upper gastrointestinal (UGI) cancers in the study population. Our results do not support the hypothesis that iodine deficiency, as assessed by serum Tg, is associated with an increased risk of UGI cancers.
PMCID: PMC3075342  PMID: 21105043
iodine deficiency; esophageal cancer; gastric cancer; thyroglobulin; China
5.  Serum 25(OH)-Vitamin D concentration and risk of esophageal squamous dysplasia 
Squamous dysplasia is the precursor lesion for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and nutritional factors play an important role in the etiology of this cancer. Previous studies using a variety of measures of vitamin D exposure have reached different conclusions about the association between vitamin D and risk of developing esophageal cancer.
We measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in a cross-sectional analysis of 720 subjects from Linxian, China, a population at high risk for developing ESCC. All subjects underwent endoscopy and biopsy and were categorized by presence or absence of histologic squamous dysplasia. We used crude and multivariate adjusted generalized linear models to estimate the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between squamous dysplasia and sex-specific quartiles of serum 25(OH)D concentration.
Two hundred and thirty (32%) of 720 subjects had squamous dysplasia. Subjects with dysplasia had significantly higher median serum 25(OH)D concentrations then subjects without dysplasia, 36.5 and 31.5 nmol/L respectively (Wilcoxon two-sample test p = 0.0004). In multivariate adjusted models, subjects in the highest compared to the lowest quartile were at significantly increased risk of squamous dysplasia, RR (95% CI) = 1.86 (1.35–2.62). Increased risks were similar when examined in men and women separately: Men RR (95% CI) = 1.74 (1.08–2.93); Women RR (95% CI) = 1.96 (1.28–3.18).
Higher serum 25(OH)D concentration was associated with significantly increased risk of squamous dysplasia. No obvious source of measured or unmeasured confounding explains this finding.
PMCID: PMC2812415  PMID: 17855710
Esophageal cancer; Squamous dysplasia; Vitamin D; Serum 25(OH)D; China
6.  Fumonisin B1 and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Two Chinese Cohorts 
Food and Chemical Toxicology  2011;50(3-4):679-683.
Fumonisin B1 (FB1), a mycotoxin that contaminates corn in certain climates, has been demonstrated to cause hepatocellular cancer (HCC) in animal models. Whether a relationship between FB1 and HCC exists in humans is not known. To examine the hypothesis, we conducted case-control studies nested within two large cohorts in China; the Haimen City Cohort and the General Population Study of the Nutritional Intervention Trials cohort in Linxian. In the Haimen City Cohort, nail FB1 levels were determined in 271 HCC cases and 280 controls. In the General Population Nutritional Intervention Trial, nail FB1 levels were determined in 72 HCC cases and 147 controls. In each population, odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) from logistic regression models estimated the association between measurable FB1 and HCC, adjusting for hepatitis B virus infection and other factors. A meta-analysis that included both populations was also conducted. The analysis revealed no statistically significant association between FB1 and HCC in either Haimen City (OR=1.10, 95%CI=0.64–1.89) or in Linxian (OR=1.47, 95%CI=0.70–3.07). Similarly, the pooled meta-analysis showed no statistically significant association between FB1 exposure and HCC (OR=1.22, 95%CI=0.79–1.89). These findings, although somewhat preliminary, do not support an associated between FB1 and HCC.
PMCID: PMC3299856  PMID: 22142693
fumonisin; hepatocellular carcinoma; cohort study; China; epidemiology
7.  Antioxidant Supplementation and Risk of Incident Melanomas: Results from a Large Prospective Cohort Study 
Archives of dermatology  2009;145(8):879-882.
To examine whether antioxidant supplement use is associated with melanoma risk in light of recently published data from the Supplementation in Vitamins and Mineral Antioxidant (SUVIMAX) study which reported a four-fold higher melanoma risk among women who were randomized to a supplement with nutritionally appropriate doses of antioxidants.
Prospective study (VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort).
Population-based study targeting supplement users recruited from Western Washington State.
69,671 men and women who self-reported intake of multivitamins and supplemental antioxidants including selenium and beta-carotene over the past 10 years as well as melanoma risk factors on a baseline questionnaire.
Main Outcome Measure
incident melanoma identified through linkage to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry.
Cox regression models were used to estimate multivariate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for multivitamins, supplemental selenium and supplemental beta-carotene use. After adjusting for melanoma risk factors, we did not detect a significant association between multivitamins and melanoma risk for women (RR=1.14, CI = 0.78–1.66) or men (RR=1.09, CI =0.83–1.43). Moreover, we did not observe increased melanoma risk for supplemental beta-carotene (RR=0.87, CI=0.48, 1.56) or selenium (RR=0.98, CI=0.69–1.41) at doses comparable to the SUVIMAX study.
Antioxidants in nutritional doses do not appear to increase the melanoma risk.
PMCID: PMC2729504  PMID: 19687417
8.  Vitamin or mineral supplement intake and the risk of head and neck cancer: pooled analysis in the INHANCE consortium 
To investigate the potential role of vitamin or mineral supplementation on the risk of head and neck cancer (HNC), we analyzed individual-level pooled data from 12 case-control studies (7,002 HNC cases and 8,383 controls) participating in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology consortium. There were a total of 2,028 oral cavity cancer, 2,465 pharyngeal cancer, and 874 unspecified oral/pharynx cancer, 1,329 laryngeal cancer and 306 overlapping HNC cases. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for self reported ever use of any vitamins, multivitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and calcium, beta-carotene, iron, selenium, and zinc supplements were assessed. We further examined frequency, duration and cumulative exposure of each vitamin or mineral when possible and stratified by smoking and drinking status. All ORs were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, study center, education level, and pack-years of smoking, frequency of alcohol drinking and fruit/vegetable intake. A decreased risk of HNC was observed with ever use of vitamin C (OR=0.76, 95% CI=0.59-0.96) and with ever use of calcium supplement (OR=0.64, 95% CI=0.42-0.97). The inverse association with HNC risk was also observed for 10 or more years of vitamin C use (OR=0.72, 95% CI=0.54-0.97) and more than 365 tablets of cumulative calcium intake (OR=0.36, 95% CI=0.16-0.83), but linear trends were not observed for the frequency or duration of any supplement intake. We did not observe any strong associations between vitamin or mineral supplement intake and the risk of head and neck cancer.
PMCID: PMC3376697  PMID: 22173631
vitamin supplement; mineral supplement; head and neck cancer
9.  Helicobacter pylori and oesophageal and gastric cancers in a prospective study in China 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;96(1):172-176.
In a cohort of 29 584 residents of Linxian, China, followed from 1985 to 2001, we conducted a case–cohort study of the magnitude of the association of Helicobacter pylori seropositivity with cancer risk in a random sample of 300 oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas, 600 gastric cardia adenocarcinomas, all 363 diagnosed gastric non-cardia adenocarcinomas, and a random sample of the entire cohort (N=1050). Baseline serum was evaluated for IgG antibodies to whole-cell and CagA H. pylori antigens by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Risks of both gastric cardia and non-cardia cancers were increased in individuals exposed to H. pylori (Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals=1.64; 1.26–2.14, and 1.60; 1.15–2.21, respectively), whereas risk of oesophageal squamous cell cancer was not affected (1.17; 0.88–1.57). For both cardia and non-cardia cancers, HRs were higher in younger individuals. With longer time between serum collection to cancer diagnosis, associations became stronger for cardia cancers but weaker for non-cardia cancers. CagA positivity did not modify these associations. The associations between H. pylori exposure and gastric cardia and non-cardia adenocarcinoma development were equally strong, in contrast to Western countries, perhaps due to the absence of Barrett's oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinomas in Linxian, making all cardia tumours of gastric origin, rather than a mixture of gastric and oesophageal malignancies.
PMCID: PMC2360212  PMID: 17179990
Helicobacter pylori; oesophageal cancer; gastric cancer; China
10.  Fifteen-Year Effects of Helicobacter pylori, Garlic, and Vitamin Treatments on Gastric Cancer Incidence and Mortality 
In the Shandong Intervention Trial, 2 weeks of antibiotic treatment for Helicobacter pylori reduced the prevalence of precancerous gastric lesions, whereas 7.3 years of oral supplementation with garlic extract and oil (garlic treatment) or vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium (vitamin treatment) did not. Here we report 14.7-year follow-up for gastric cancer incidence and cause-specific mortality among 3365 randomly assigned subjects in this masked factorial placebo-controlled trial. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of gastric cancer incidence, and the Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the relative hazard of cause-specific mortality. All statistical tests were two-sided. Gastric cancer was diagnosed in 3.0% of subjects who received H pylori treatment and in 4.6% of those who received placebo (odds ratio = 0.61, 95% confidence interval = 0.38 to 0.96, P = .032). Gastric cancer deaths occurred among 1.5% of subjects assigned H pylori treatment and among 2.1% of those assigned placebo (hazard ratio [HR] of death = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.36 to 1.28). Garlic and vitamin treatments were associated with non-statistically significant reductions in gastric cancer incidence and mortality. Vitamin treatment was associated with statistically significantly fewer deaths from gastric or esophageal cancer, a secondary endpoint (HR = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.30 to 0.87; P = .014).
PMCID: PMC3309129  PMID: 22271764
11.  Modification of the Effect of Vitamin E Supplementation on the Mortality of Male Smokers by Age and Dietary Vitamin C 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;169(8):946-953.
The Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study (1985–1993) recruited 29,133 Finnish male cigarette smokers, finding that vitamin E supplementation had no overall effect on mortality. The authors of this paper found that the effect of vitamin E on respiratory infections in ATBC Study participants was modified by age, smoking, and dietary vitamin C intake; therefore, they examined whether the effect of vitamin E supplementation on mortality is modified by the same variables. During a median follow-up time of 6.1 years, 3,571 deaths occurred. Age and dietary vitamin C intake had a second-order interaction with vitamin E supplementation of 50 mg/day. Among participants with a dietary vitamin C intake above the median of 90 mg/day, vitamin E increased mortality among those aged 50–62 years by 19% (95% confidence interval: 5, 35), whereas vitamin E decreased mortality among those aged 66–69 years by 41% (95% CI: −56, −21). Vitamin E had no effect on participants who had a dietary vitamin C intake below the median. Smoking quantity did not modify the effect of vitamin E. This study provides strong evidence that the effect of vitamin E supplementation on mortality varies between different population groups. Further study is needed to confirm this heterogeneity.
PMCID: PMC2661323  PMID: 19218294
aging; antioxidants; oxidative stress; population characteristics; randomized controlled trial; smoking; survival rate
12.  Dietary Supplement Use and Prostate Cancer Risk in the Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial 
We investigated dietary supplement use and prostate cancer risk in the Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET). CARET was a randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled trial testing a daily dose of 30 mg β-carotene + 25,000 IU retinyl palmitate for lung cancer prevention (1985-1996; active follow-up occurred through 2005). Secondary outcomes, including prostate cancer, were also assessed. Participants were queried about dietary supplements, health history, family history of cancer, smoking and lifestyle habits. Cox proportional hazards regression estimated multivariate-adjusted relative risk (and 95% confidence intervals) of prostate cancer for dietary supplement users and non-users with or without the high-dose CARET vitamins during the intervention and post-intervention phases. After an average of 11 years of follow-up, 890 prostate cancer cases were reported. Neither the CARET nor other supplements were associated with total prostate cancer risk. For aggressive prostate cancer, men in the CARET intervention arm who used additional supplements had a relative risk for aggressive prostate cancer (Gleason ≥ 7 or stage III/IV) of 1.52 (95% CI, 1.03-2.24, p<0.05), relative to all others. These associations disappeared in the post-intervention period (0.75, 95%CI 0.51, 1.09). Conversely, there was no association of CARET + other supplements with non-aggressive disease, relative to all others. There was no effect modification by smoking or time on CARET intervention in any analyses. CARET only included smokers so findings reported here may not apply to non-smokers. Our results are consistent with other studies suggesting that dietary supplements may influence prostate cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC2733330  PMID: 19661078
Prostate cancer; dietary supplements; cohort studies; vitamins
13.  A prospective study of polymorphisms of DNA repair genes XRCC1, XPD23 and APE/ref‐1 and risk of stroke in Linxian, China 
Stroke is the leading cause of death in Linxian, China. Although there is evidence of DNA damage in experimental stroke, no data exist on DNA repair and stroke in human populations.
To assess the risk of stroke conferred by polymorphisms in the DNA repair genes, XRCC1, XPD23 and APE/ref‐1 in a cohort of individuals originally assembled as subjects in two cancer prevention trials in Linxian, China.
The subjects for this prospective study were sampled from a cohort of 4005 eligible subjects who were alive and cancer free in 1991 and had blood samples available for DNA extraction. Using real‐time Taqman analyses, all incident cases of stroke (n = 118) that developed from May 1996, and an age‐ and a sex‐stratified random sample (n = 454) drawn from all eligible subjects were genotyped. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs.
No association was observed between polymorphisms in APE/ref‐1 codon 148 and XRCC1*6 codon 194, and stroke. Polymorphisms in XRCC1*10 codon 399 were associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke (RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.96, p = 0.033), whereas XPD23 codon 312 was associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke (RR 2.18, 95% CI 1.14 to 4.17, p = 0.010).
Polymorphisms in DNA repair genes may be important in the aetiology of stroke. These data should stimulate research on DNA damage and repair in stroke.
PMCID: PMC2653006  PMID: 17630376
14.  Long-term Use of β-Carotene, Retinol, Lycopene, and Lutein Supplements and Lung Cancer Risk: Results From the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;169(7):815-828.
High-dose β-carotene supplementation in high-risk persons has been linked to increased lung cancer risk in clinical trials; whether effects are similar in the general population is unclear. The authors examined associations of supplemental β-carotene, retinol, vitamin A, lutein, and lycopene with lung cancer risk among participants, aged 50–76 years, in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort Study in Washington State. In 2000–2002, eligible persons (n = 77,126) completed a 24-page baseline questionnaire, including detailed questions about supplement use (duration, frequency, dose) during the previous 10 years from multivitamins and individual supplements/mixtures. Incident lung cancers (n = 521) through December 2005 were identified by linkage to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registry. Longer duration of use of individual β-carotene, retinol, and lutein supplements (but not total 10-year average dose) was associated with statistically significantly elevated risk of total lung cancer and histologic cell types; for example, hazard ratio = 2.02, 95% confidence interval: 1.28, 3.17 for individual supplemental lutein with total lung cancer and hazard ratio = 3.22, 95% confidence interval: 1.29, 8.07 for individual β-carotene with small-cell lung cancer for >4 years versus no use. There was little evidence for effect modification by gender or smoking status. Long-term use of individual β-carotene, retinol, and lutein supplements should not be recommended for lung cancer prevention, particularly among smokers.
PMCID: PMC2842198  PMID: 19208726
beta carotene; carotenoids; cohort studies; dietary supplements; lung neoplasms; randomized controlled trials as topic; vitamins
15.  Effect of a vitamin/mineral supplement on children and adults with autism 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:111.
Vitamin/mineral supplements are among the most commonly used treatments for autism, but the research on their use for treating autism has been limited.
This study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled three month vitamin/mineral treatment study. The study involved 141 children and adults with autism, and pre and post symptoms of autism were assessed. None of the participants had taken a vitamin/mineral supplement in the two months prior to the start of the study. For a subset of the participants (53 children ages 5-16) pre and post measurements of nutritional and metabolic status were also conducted.
The vitamin/mineral supplement was generally well-tolerated, and individually titrated to optimum benefit. Levels of many vitamins, minerals, and biomarkers improved/increased showing good compliance and absorption. Statistically significant improvements in metabolic status were many including: total sulfate (+17%, p = 0.001), S-adenosylmethionine (SAM; +6%, p = 0.003), reduced glutathione (+17%, p = 0.0008), ratio of oxidized glutathione to reduced glutathione (GSSG:GSH; -27%, p = 0.002), nitrotyrosine (-29%, p = 0.004), ATP (+25%, p = 0.000001), NADH (+28%, p = 0.0002), and NADPH (+30%, p = 0.001). Most of these metabolic biomarkers improved to normal or near-normal levels.
The supplement group had significantly greater improvements than the placebo group on the Parental Global Impressions-Revised (PGI-R, Average Change, p = 0.008), and on the subscores for Hyperactivity (p = 0.003), Tantrumming (p = 0.009), Overall (p = 0.02), and Receptive Language (p = 0.03). For the other three assessment tools the difference between treatment group and placebo group was not statistically significant.
Regression analysis revealed that the degree of improvement on the Average Change of the PGI-R was strongly associated with several biomarkers (adj. R2 = 0.61, p < 0.0005) with the initial levels of biotin and vitamin K being the most significant (p < 0.05); both biotin and vitamin K are made by beneficial intestinal flora.
Oral vitamin/mineral supplementation is beneficial in improving the nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism, including improvements in methylation, glutathione, oxidative stress, sulfation, ATP, NADH, and NADPH. The supplement group had significantly greater improvements than did the placebo group on the PGI-R Average Change. This suggests that a vitamin/mineral supplement is a reasonable adjunct therapy to consider for most children and adults with autism.
Trial Registration
Clinical Trial Registration Number: NCT01225198
PMCID: PMC3266205  PMID: 22151477
16.  Long-Term Use of Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals Does Not Reduce the Risk of Urothelial Cell Carcinoma of the Bladder in the VITamins And Lifestyle Study 
The Journal of urology  2011;185(4):1210-1215.
Urothelial Carcinoma (UC) has the highest lifetime treatment cost of any cancer making it an ideal target for preventative therapies. Previous work has suggested that certain vitamin and mineral supplements may reduce the risk of UC. We sought to use the prospective VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort to examine the association of all commonly taken vitamin and mineral supplements as well as 6 common anti-inflammatory supplements with incident UC in a United States population.
77,050 eligible VITAL participants completed a detailed questionnaire at baseline on supplement use and cancer risk factors. . After 6 years of follow-up, 330 incident UC cases occurring in the cohort were identified via linkage to the Seattle-Puget Sound Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registry. We analyzed use of supplemental vitamins (multivitamins, beta-carotene, retinol, folic acid, vitamins B1, B3, B6, B12, C, D and E), minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium), and anti-inflammatory supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin, saw-palmetto, ginko-biloba, fish oil and garlic). For each supplement, the hazard ratios (risk ratios) for UC comparing each category of users to nonusers, and 95% confidence intervals, were determined using Cox proportional hazards regression., adjusted for potential confounders.
None of the vitamin, mineral or anti-inflammatory supplements was significantly associated with UC risk in either age-adjusted or multivariate models.
The results of this study do not support the use of commonly taken vitamin or mineral supplements or 6 common anti-inflammatory supplements for chemoprevention of UC.
PMCID: PMC3215292  PMID: 21334017
Urothelial Carcinoma; Supplement; Diet; Nutrition; Cancer Prevention
17.  Subgroup analysis of large trials can guide further research: a case study of vitamin E and pneumonia 
Clinical Epidemiology  2011;3:51-59.
Biology is complex and the effects of many interventions may vary between population groups. Subgroup analysis can give estimates for specific populations, but trials are usually too small for such analyses.
To test whether the effect of vitamin E on pneumonia risk is uniform over subgroups defined by smoking and exercise.
The Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study examined the effects of vitamin E (50 mg per day) and β-carotene (20 mg per day) on lung cancer in 29,133 male smokers aged 50–69 years using a 2 × 2 factorial design. The trial was conducted among the general community in Finland during 1985–1993; the intervention lasted for 6.0 years (median). In the present study, we tested the uniformity of vitamin E effect on the risk of hospital-treated pneumonia (898 cases) by adding a dummy variable to allow each subgroup its own vitamin E effect in a Cox model covering all participants.
Vitamin E effect was not uniform over eight subgroups defined by baseline smoking (5–19 vs ≥20 cigarettes per day), age of smoking initiation (≤20 vs ≥21 years), and exercise during leisure time (yes vs no). Vitamin E decreased pneumonia risk by 69% (95% CI: 43% to 83%) among participants who had the least exposure to smoking and exercised during leisure time. Vitamin E increased pneumonia risk by 79% (95% CI: 27% to 150%) among those who had the highest exposure to smoking and did not exercise.
Although the evidence of heterogeneity is strong, it is not evident to what extent the estimates of effect or the limits between the subgroups can be extrapolated to other populations.
Subgroup analysis of large trials should be encouraged, though caution is needed in the interpretation of findings. The role of vitamin E in susceptibility to pneumonia in physically active nonsmokers warrants further study.
Trial registration: NCT00342992.
PMCID: PMC3046185  PMID: 21386974
vitamin E; pneumonia; smoking; leisure time exercise; α-tocopherol; β-carotene; subgroup analysis
18.  Vitamin E supplementation and pneumonia risk in males who initiated smoking at an early age: effect modification by body weight and dietary vitamin C 
Nutrition Journal  2008;7:33.
We had found a 14% higher incidence of pneumonia with vitamin E supplementation in a subgroup of the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study cohort: participants who had initiated smoking by the age of 20 years. In this study, we explored the modification of vitamin E effect by body weight, because the same dose could lead to a greater effect in participants with low body weight.
The ATBC Study recruited males aged 50–69 years who smoked at least 5 cigarettes per day at the baseline; it was conducted in southwestern Finland in 1985–1993. The current study was restricted to 21,657 ATBC Study participants who initiated smoking by the age of 20 years; the median follow-up time was 6.0 years. The hospital-diagnosed pneumonia cases were retrieved from the national hospital discharge register (701 cases).
Vitamin E supplementation had no effect on the risk of pneumonia in participants with body weight in a range from 70 to 89 kg (n = 12,495), risk ratio (RR) = 0.99 (95% CI: 0.81 to 1.22). Vitamin E increased the risk of pneumonia in participants with body weight less than 60 kg (n = 1054), RR = 1.61 (1.03 to 2.53), and in participants with body weight over 100 kg (n = 1328), RR = 2.34 (1.07 to 5.08). The harm of vitamin E supplementation was restricted to participants with dietary vitamin C intake above the median.
Vitamin E supplementation may cause harmful effects on health in certain groups of male smokers. The dose of vitamin E used in the ATBC Study, 50 mg/day, is substantially smaller than conventional vitamin E doses that are considered safe. Our findings should increase caution towards taking vitamin E supplements.
Trial registration NCT00342992.
PMCID: PMC2603040  PMID: 19019244
19.  Micronutrients supplementation and nutritional status in cognitively impaired elderly persons: a two-month open label pilot study 
Nutrition Journal  2013;12:148.
Malnutrition is a widespread problem in elderly people and is associated with cognitive decline. However, interventional studies have produced ambiguous results. For this reason, we wanted to determine the effect of micronutrient supplementation on blood and tissue levels and on general nutritional status in persons with mild or moderate cognitive impairment.
We performed a 2-month, open-label trial, administering a daily micronutrient supplement to 42 memory clinic patients with mild cognitive deficits. Blood levels of antioxidants, zinc, and B vitamins were determined before and after supplementation. In addition, we assessed metabolic markers for B vitamins and intracellular (buccal mucosa cell [BMC]) antioxidant levels. Nutritional status was assessed by using the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA).
Blood levels of B vitamins, folic acid, lutein, β-carotene, α-carotene, and α-tocopherol increased significantly. Decreases in homocysteine levels and the thiamine pyrophosphate effect and an increase in holotranscobalamin were observed. We found no increase in intracellular antioxidant levels of BMC. The MNA score in subjects at risk for malnutrition increased significantly, mainly owing to better perception of nutritional and overall health status.
Micronutrient supplementation improved serum micronutrient status, with improved metabolic markers for B vitamins but not for intracellular antioxidant status, and was associated with improved self-perception of general health status. Our data underline the necessity of determining micronutrient status and support the use of additional assessments for general health and quality of life in nutritional supplementation trials.
PMCID: PMC3834880  PMID: 24237850
B vitamins; Intracellular antioxidative status; Mini nutritional assessment; Micronutrient supplement
20.  Prospective Study of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and Mortality in a Chinese Population 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2012;176(11):1043-1050.
Prospective epidemiologic data on the association between vitamin D and mortality are limited, particularly in Asian populations. Among subjects in Linxian, China, the authors aimed to test whether baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in a prospective cohort were associated with all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality rates over 24 years of follow-up (1986–2010). Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured in 1,101 subjects using an immunoassay. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using Cox regression models that were adjusted for age, sex, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, and hypertension. The 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile concentrations of 25(OH)D were 19.6, 31.9, and 48.4 nmol/L, respectively. During follow-up, 793 subjects died, including 279 who died of cerebrovascular accident, 217 who died of cancer, and 200 cardiovascular disease deaths. All-cause mortality was not associated with 25(OH)D concentrations using continuous models (for every 15 nmol/L, hazard ratio = 1.01, 95% confidence interval: 0.97, 1.05) or quartile models (fourth vs. first quartiles, hazard ratio = 1.06, 95% confidence interval: 0.87, 1.30; P for trend = 0.731). The authors also found no association with the cause-specific mortality outcomes. Results were similar for men and women. This study showed that prediagnostic serum 25(OH)D concentrations were not associated with all-cause or cause-specific mortality rates in this Chinese population who had low levels of vitamin D.
PMCID: PMC3571239  PMID: 23139250
cancer; cardiovascular diseases; China; mortality; vitamin D
21.  Prevalence and predictors of antioxidant supplement use during breast cancer treatment: The Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project 
Cancer  2009;115(14):3271-3282.
Although many patients take antioxidant dietary supplements during breast cancer treatment, the benefits of such supplementation are unproven. We analyzed the prevalence of and factors associated with antioxidant supplement use during breast cancer treatment among women who participated in the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project.
In 2002–2004, women with breast cancer (BC) who had participated in the 1996–1997 case-control study were invited to participate in a follow-up interview. We defined antioxidant supplement use as any self-reported intake of supplemental vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, or selenium, in individual supplements or multivitamins.
Follow-up interview participants were younger, more predominantly white, and of higher socioeconomic status, than women who did not respond. Among 764 participants who completed the follow-up interview, 663 (86.8%) reported receiving adjuvant treatment for their BC. Of these 663 women, 401 (60.5%) reported using antioxidants during adjuvant treatment: 120/310 (38.7%) during chemotherapy, 196/464 (42.2%) during radiation, and 286/462 (61.9%) during tamoxifen therapy. Of the 401 antioxidant users, 278 (69.3%) used high doses (doses higher than those contained in a Centrum multivitamin). Factors associated with high antioxidant supplement use during treatment were higher fruit and vegetable intake at diagnosis (RR 1.71, 95% CI 1.13–2.59), tamoxifen use (RR 3.66, 95% CI 2.32–5.78), ever using herbal products (RR 3.49, 95% CI 2.26–5.38), and ever engaging in mind-body practices (RR 1.72, 95% CI 1.13–2.64).
Given the common use of antioxidant supplements during BC treatment, often at high doses and in conjunction with other complementary therapies, future research should address the effects of antioxidant supplementation on BC outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2763503  PMID: 19507173
antioxidants; dietary supplements; breast cancer; chemotherapy; radiation therapy; hormonal therapy
22.  Fumonisin occurrence in corn from high- and low-risk areas for human esophageal cancer in China. 
Forty-seven corn samples were collected in 1989 from Linxian and Shangqiu Counties in Henan Province, the high- and low-risk areas, respectively, for human esophageal cancer in the People's Republic of China. The samples were analyzed for fumonisin (fumonisin B1 [FB1] and FB2) contamination. Of the fumonisin-positive samples, the mean levels in Linxian corn were found to be 872 ng/g for FB1 and 448 ng/g for FB2, while the Shangqiu corns had 890 ng of FB1 and 330 ng of FB2 per g. The incidence of fumonisin contamination of Linxian corn (48%) was about two times higher than that of Shangqiu corn (25%), and the former corn samples were frequently cocontaminated with trichothecenes. Fusarium species isolated from corn from Linxian County produced FB1 at levels ranging from 1,280 to 11,300 micrograms/g.
PMCID: PMC201527  PMID: 8017941
23.  Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy males 
Psychopharmacology  2010;211(1):55-68.
A significant proportion of the general population report supplementing their diet with one or more vitamins or minerals, with common reasons for doing so being to combat stress and fatigue and to improve mental functioning. Few studies have assessed the relationship between supplementation with vitamins/minerals and psychological functioning in healthy cohorts of non-elderly adults.
The present randomised, placebo-controlled, double–blind, parallel groups trial assessed the cognitive and mood effects of a high-dose B-complex vitamin and mineral supplement (Berocca®) in 215 males aged 30 to 55 years, who were in full-time employment.
Participants attended the laboratory prior to and on the last day of a 33-day treatment period where they completed the Profile of Mood States (POMS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Cognitive performance and task-related modulation of mood/fatigue were assessed with the 60 min cognitive demand battery. On the final day, participants also completed the Stroop task for 40 min whilst engaged in inclined treadmill walking and subsequent executive function was assessed.
Vitamin/mineral supplementation led to significant improvements in ratings on the PSS, GHQ-12 and the ‘vigour’ subscale of the POMS. The vitamin/mineral group also performed better on the Serial 3s subtractions task and rated themselves as less ‘mentally tired’ both pre- and post-completion of the cognitive demand battery.
Healthy members of the general population may benefit from augmented levels of vitamins/minerals via direct dietary supplementation. Specifically, supplementation led to improved ratings of stress, mental health and vigour and improved cognitive performance during intense mental processing.
PMCID: PMC2885294  PMID: 20454891
Vitamin; Mineral; Cognition; Cognitive; Executive function; Mood; Supplementation; Deficiency; Stress
24.  Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: Do We Really Need Them? 
In the United States, 40 – 50% of the men and women 50 years of age or older regularly use multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplements, making the annual sales of these supplements over $11 billion. However, the question remains whether using MVM supplements is beneficial to health. This article reviews the results of randomized studies of MVM supplements and individual vitamins/mineral supplements in relation to overall mortality and incidence of chronic diseases, particularly cancer and ischemic heart disease. The results of large-scale randomized trials show that, for the majority of the population, there is no overall benefit from taking MVM supplements. Indeed, some studies have shown increased risk of cancers in relation to using certain vitamins.
PMCID: PMC3309636  PMID: 22448315
vitamins; minerals; cancer; coronary heart disease; mortality
25.  A Prospective Study of Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Use and the Risk of Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88774.
We examined the association of use of multivitamins or single vitamin/mineral supplements with risk of four upper gastrointestinal cancers in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort with 11 years of follow-up. After exclusions, 490,593 persons were included in our analytic cohort and 1780 upper gastrointestinal cancers were accrued. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox models with adjustment for potential confounders. We observed no significant associations between multivitamin use and risk for the four cancer outcomes in crude or adjusted models. Among individual vitamin or mineral supplements, use of iron supplements was associated with significantly lower risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (HR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.49 to 0.94) and a significantly increased risk of gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma (HR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.24 to 2.05). For gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma, we saw associations with zinc use (HR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.62) and vitamin C use (HR = 0.79 95% CI = 0.65 to 0.96). Calcium use, some of which was reported as antacids and used to treat reflux disease, was associated with higher risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (HR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.06 to 1.52) and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (HR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.56) cancers. We saw no evidence that multivitamin use was associated with reduced risk of four highly fatal upper gastrointestinal cancers, but there were some differences in risk with reported use of individual supplements.
PMCID: PMC3928299  PMID: 24558423

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