(HealthDay News) — Evidence suggests that vitamin E in the diet or from supplements may reduce the risk of developing liver cancer in men and women, according to research published online July 17 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
To investigate the correlation between vitamin intake and the risk of liver cancer, Wei Zhang, M.D., M.P.H., of the Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed data from 132,837 adults who participated in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study from 1997 to 2000 and the Shanghai Men’s Health Study from 2002 to 2006. Food-frequency questionnaires were used to gather dietary information. Women were followed for an average of 10.9 years, and men for an average of 5.5 years.
After exclusion of the first two years of follow-up, the researchers found that liver cancer developed in 118 women and 149 men. Vitamin E intake (dietary and supplement use) correlated inversely with liver cancer risk (hazard ratio, 0.52), and the association persisted regardless of self-reported liver disease or family history of liver cancer. In patients with self-reported liver disease or a family history, vitamin C and multivitamin supplements were associated with an increased risk of liver cancer, while dietary sources of vitamin C and other vitamins did not affect liver cancer risk.
“In summary, in these two population-based cohort studies of 132,837 women and men, we found that high intake of vitamin E, either from diet or supplements, was related to lower risk of liver cancer in middle-aged or older people from China,” the authors write.