Positive effect of vitamin A on cancer risk

Less than a month ago I summarized the results of a study where taking vitamin A was associated with increased risk of death. The significance of the results was debatable, but the headline was clear.

Now, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm report “High intakes of vitamin A, retinol, and provitamin A carotenoids may reduce the risk of gastric cancer.”


Don’t be.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute followed more than 82,000 Swedish adults for about 7 years. During that time, high intake of vitamin A and retinol from foods and from foods plus supplements, and high intake of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene from diet were associated with a lower risk of stomach cancer.

The bottom line?
The researchers concluded there is “a possible protective role of vitamin A in gastric carcinogenesis.” The key word is “possible.” It’s contribution (if any) to your health remains to be determined by future studies.

As with the earlier study, file this information under the category of “nice to know but not to act on.”

For now, I’ll continue to take a multivitamin.

3/11/07 13:42 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.