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Increased intakes of vitamins and carotenoids may reduce the risk of bladder cancer

January 6, 2010

People with high average intakes of vitamin E are less likely to develop bladder cancer, says a new study.

In the study, dietary data from 322 people with bladder cancer and 239 healthy controls were analyzed (1). The results showed that, in general, people with the highest average intakes of vitamin E (at least 193.4 milligrams per day) were 34 percent less likely to develop bladder cancer.

When the researchers focused their analysis on heavy smokers, they found that the highest intakes of vitamin E, carotenoids (18 milligrams), and vitamin B3 (46.5 milligrams niacin), were associated with a 42, 38, and 34 percent reduction in bladder cancer risk.

In older individuals, the highest average intakes of carotenoids, vitamin D (641 International Units), vitamin B1 (3.35 milligrams thiamin), vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin E were all associated with a reduced bladder cancer risk.

Bladder cancer is a disease that typically affects older people, and bioavailability of B-group vitamins may be compromised in this group by certain drugs (e.g., acid lowering agents), the researchers commented. Additionally, vitamin E and carotenoids act as an antioxidant and could be more beneficial under conditions of the greatest oxidative stress such as smoking and ageing.

Future studies should focus on optimal doses and combinations of these micronutrients particularly for high risk groups such as heavy smokers and older individuals, the researchers concluded.

Bladder cancer is diagnosed in about 336,000 people every year worldwide, and it is three times more likely to affect men than women, according to the European School of Oncology.

References

  1. Brinkman M.T. et al. Minerals and vitamins and the risk of bladder cancer: results from the New Hampshire Study. Cancer Causes and Control. January 2010.