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Women who supplement with Vitamin C or consume Vitamin C get a boost in breast cancer survival

Mar 20, 2015

Women who supplement with Vitamin C or consume Vitamin C get a boost in breast cancer survival

The results of a large meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute show that women with breast cancer who consumed more vitamin C from food or took Vitamin C supplements had improved survival.

For the analysis, Dr Holly Harris’s team included ten observational studies covering a total of 17,696 women diagnosed with breast cancer. The studies examined the effect of supplementing with vitamin C following breast cancer diagnosis and/or the effect of vitamin C obtained in the diet.

When the studies that reported the effects of vitamin C supplements were evaluated, use was associated with a 19% lower risk of total mortality and a 15% lower risk of dying from breast cancer in comparison with women who didn’t take Vitamin C supplements. Analysis of vitamin C from food resulted in a 20% lower risk of dying and a 23% reduction in the risk of breast cancer mortality among women whose intake was categorized as high versus those with a lower intake.

“To our knowledge this is the first meta-analysis to combine the limited number of published studies available on vitamin C supplement intake and dietary vitamin C intake and survival following breast cancer diagnosis,” the authors announce. “More studies of post-diagnosis supplement use, including vitamin C, are warranted to further our understanding of how their intake during chemotherapy or radiation therapy may influence breast cancer outcomes.”

The findings were reported online on March 7, 2014 in the European Journal of Cancer.