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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Vitamin C and vitamin E supplement use and colorectal cancer mortality in a large American Cancer Society cohort.

Some recent epidemiological studies have suggested that use of vitamin C or vitamin E supplements, both of which are important antioxidants, may substantially reduce the risk of colon or colorectal cancer. We examined the association between colorectal cancer mortality and use of individual vitamin C and E supplements in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study II cohort. We used proportional hazards modeling to estimate rate ratios among 711,891 men and women in the United States who completed a self-administered questionnaire at study enrollment in 1982, had no history of cancer, and were followed for mortality through 1996. During the 14 years of follow-up, 4404 deaths from colorectal cancer occurred. After adjustment for multiple colorectal cancer risk factors, regular use of vitamin C or E supplements, even long-term use, was not associated with colorectal cancer mortality. The combined-sex rate ratios were 0.89 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.73-1.09] for 10 or more years of vitamin C use and 1.08 (95% CI, 0.85-1.38) for 10 or more years of vitamin E use. In subgroup analyses, use of vitamin C supplements for 10 or more years was associated with decreased risk of colorectal cancer mortality before age 65 years (rate ratio = 0.48; 95% CI, 0.28-0.81) and decreased risk of rectal cancer mortality at any age (rate ratio = 0.40; 95% CI, 0.20-0.80). Our results do not support a substantial effect of vitamin C or E supplement use on overall colorectal cancer mortality.[1]


  1. Vitamin C and vitamin E supplement use and colorectal cancer mortality in a large American Cancer Society cohort. Jacobs, E.J., Connell, C.J., Patel, A.V., Chao, A., Rodriguez, C., Seymour, J., McCullough, M.L., Calle, E.E., Thun, M.J. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. (2001) [Pubmed]
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