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Link Between Multivitamins and Breast Cancer in Question

A recent study by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden may leave many women wondering if taking multivitamins can cause more harm than help.

The study lasted 9.5 years and involved over 35,000 women between the ages of 49 and 83. The results of the study were published in the online version of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on March 24th, 2010.

The study found that multivitamins may increase the risk of breast cancer by 19%.

However, the researchers noted that the findings do not prove that multivitamins cause cancer, and that further study is needed.

Commenting on the study, officials from the American Council of Science and Health say that to associate a 19% risk of breast cancer with multivitamins from results based on self-reporting is "absurd."

Experts with the Health Food Manufacturer's Association say the study was "fundamentally flawed" because it did not prove cause and effect.

The findings of this study are being called into question in part because of an earlier study conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers called the Women's Health Study.

The Women's Health Study lasted ten years and monitored close to 38,000 women. The researchers published their findings in 2008, saying they had found no overall significant association between multivitamin use and breast cancer risk.

Experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research highlighted the fact that numerous studies have found a link between multivitamin use and a large range of health benefits including improvements in cardiovascular health and mental health.

They noted that most people do not receive recommended doses of many vitamins through diet alone and multivitamins are an easy way to bridge that gap.

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