Are vitamin and mineral deficiencies a major cancer risk?

Nat Rev Cancer 2002 Sep;2(9):694-704

Ames BN, Wakimoto P.

Nutrition Genomics Center, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, 5700 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland, California 94609-1673, USA. bames@chori.org

Diet is estimated to contribute to about one-third of preventable cancers — about the same amount as smoking. Inadequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals might explain the epidemiological findings that people who eat only small amounts of fruits and vegetables have an increased risk of developing cancer. Recent experimental evidence indicates that vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to DNA damage. Optimizing vitamin and mineral intake by encouraging dietary change, multivitamin and mineral supplements, and fortifying foods might therefore prevent cancer and other chronic diseases.

PMID: 12209158 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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