Vitamin C

There are no published RCTs of vitamin C alone in primary prevention, but data from the small number of trials of vitamin C in combination with other nutrients have not provided any support for a role for high-dose vitamin C supplementation in cancer prevention (Table 3). The Linxian trial found no significant effect of supplementing Chinese men and women with 120 mg vitamin C and 30 mg molybdenum daily for 5 years on the risk of cancers of the oesophagus or stomach. The Polyp Prevention Study, a trial of 864 patients with previous

Table 4 Summary of large intervention trials (>1000 subjects) investigating the role of antioxidants and cancer in secondary preventiona

Trial Characteristics Sex Length of Treatment Effect of antioxidant of subjects follow-up (years) supplementation

Table 4 Summary of large intervention trials (>1000 subjects) investigating the role of antioxidants and cancer in secondary preventiona

Trial Characteristics Sex Length of Treatment Effect of antioxidant of subjects follow-up (years) supplementation

NPCT

1312 with history of basal or squamous cell carcinoma, United States

Male and Female 42

200 mg selenium

No effect on incidence of skin cancer

Reduce cancer mortality (50%), cancer incidence (37%), prostate cancer (63%), colorectal cancer (58%), and lung cancer (46%)

SCPS

1805 with recent nonmelanoma skin cancer, United States

Male and Female 5

50 mg ^-carotene

No effect on occurrence of new nonmelanoma skin cancer

aSecondary prevention defined as subjects with documented cancer including nonmelanoma skin cancer (although some of the primary prevention trials did not exclude those with nonmelanoma skin cancer at baseline). NPCT, Nutritional Prevention of Cancer Trial; SCPS: Skin Cancer Prevention Study.

aSecondary prevention defined as subjects with documented cancer including nonmelanoma skin cancer (although some of the primary prevention trials did not exclude those with nonmelanoma skin cancer at baseline). NPCT, Nutritional Prevention of Cancer Trial; SCPS: Skin Cancer Prevention Study.

adenoma, found no effect of either ^-carotene or a combination of vitamins E and C (1000 mg) on the incidence of subsequent colorectal adenomas. The Heart Protection Study also found no beneficial effects of supplementation with these three vitamins on cancer mortality. However, trials have generally been carried out on those with diets containing sufficient amounts of vitamin C and there is a need for further studies in people with low intakes.

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