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J Urol. 2011 Apr;185(4):1210-5. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.11.081. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Long-term use of supplemental vitamins and minerals does not reduce the risk of urothelial cell carcinoma of the bladder in the VITamins And Lifestyle study.

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Department of Urology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington 98103, USA.



Urothelial carcinoma has the highest lifetime treatment cost of any cancer, making it an ideal target for preventative therapies. Previous work has suggested that certain vitamin and mineral supplements may reduce the risk of urothelial carcinoma. We used the prospective VITamins And Lifestyle cohort to examine the association of all commonly taken vitamin and mineral supplements as well as 6 common anti-inflammatory supplements with incident urothelial carcinoma in a United States population.


A total of 77,050 eligible VITAL participants completed a detailed questionnaire at baseline on supplement use and cancer risk factors. After 6 years of followup 330 incident urothelial carcinoma cases in the cohort were identified via linkage to the Seattle-Puget Sound SEER cancer registry. We analyzed use of supplemental vitamins (multivitamins, beta-carotene, retinol, folic acid, and vitamins B1, B3, B6, B12, C, D and E), minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium) and anti-inflammatory supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin, saw palmetto, ginkgo biloba, fish oil and garlic). For each supplement the hazard ratios (risk ratios) for urothelial carcinoma comparing each category of users to nonusers, and 95% CIs, were determined using Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusted for potential confounders.


None of the vitamin, mineral or anti-inflammatory supplements was significantly associated with urothelial carcinoma risk in age adjusted or multivariate models.


The results of this study do not support the use of commonly taken vitamin or mineral supplements or 6 common anti-inflammatory supplements for the chemoprevention of urothelial carcinoma.

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