A recent study showing that long-term multivitamin use may lower cancer risk among men has the nation’s two largest drug chains promoting the role they can play in helping men ensure they take the right supplements.


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CVS, Walgreens tout vitamins’ benefits in lowering cancer risk

November 5th, 2012

NEW YORK – A recent study showing that long-term multivitamin use may lower cancer risk among men has the nation’s two largest drug chains promoting the role they can play in helping men ensure they take the right supplements.

“Our pharmacists are available to discuss vitamin options with individuals and counsel them about potential side effects that certain ingredients can have with select prescriptions,” Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness Kermit Crawford says. “Our large selection of multivitamin products and expert advice from pharmacists can help customers make the right choice to get, stay and live well.”

According to the study presented at the October 17 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Anaheim, Calif., and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School examined data compiled over 11 years on close to 15,000 men over the age of 50.

The study found that slightly more of those who were given a placebo during the study contracted cancer compared with those who received Pfizer Inc.’s Centrum Silver multivitamins.

Researchers also found that cancer deaths were lower among vitamin-takers — 403 compared with 456.

The researchers call the multivitamin users’ 8% reduction in the chance of developing cancer “statistically significant.”

“Despite the lack of definitive trial data regarding the benefits of multivitamins in the prevention of chronic disease, including cancer, many men and women take them for precisely this reason,” lead researcher Dr. Michael Gaziano told ABC News. “Our study shows a modest but significant benefit in cancer prevention.”

Executives at the nation’s drug store chains say the study’s results underscore the importance of supplementing one’s diet as part of a broader health care regimen.

“Given this latest research, it’s important that people talk to their physicians and pharmacists about taking a daily multivitamin if they aren’t already,” CVS Caremark executive vice president and chief medical officer Troyen Brennan says. “This is one of a few simple steps our customers and patients can follow each day in an effort to remain healthy.”

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