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Korean J Fam Med. 2015 Nov;36(6):278-85. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2015.36.6.278. Epub 2015 Nov 20.

Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplements in Prevention of Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

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Huntington University, Huntington, USA. ; Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA, USA (Present).
Department of Family Medicine, Healthcare System Gangnam Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Cancer Control and Policy, Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, Goyang, Korea. ; Department of Family Medicine and Center for Cancer Prevention and Detection, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.



Previous randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have reported inconsistent findings regarding the association between vitamin C supplementation and the risk of cancer.


We performed a meta-analysis of RCTs to investigate the efficacy of vitamin C supplements for prevention of cancer. We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases in November 2014 using common keywords related to vitamin C supplements and cancer.


Among 785 articles, a total of seven trials were identified, which included 62,619 participants; 31,326 and 31,293 were randomized to vitamin C supplementation and control or placebo groups, respectively, which were included in the final analysis. A fixed-effects meta-analysis of all seven RCTs revealed no significant association between vitamin C supplementation and cancer (relative risk, 1.00; 95% confidence intervals, 0.95-1.05). Similarly, subgroup meta-analysis by dose of vitamin C administered singly or in combination with other supplements, follow-up period, methodological quality, cancer mortality, gender, smoking status, country, and type of cancer also showed no efficacy of vitamin C supplementation for cancer prevention.


This meta-analysis shows that there is no evidence to support the use of vitamin C supplements for prevention of cancer.


Ascorbic Acid; Cancer; Meta-Analysis; Randomized Controlled Trials; Vitamin C

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