Arnold Library

Associations of herbal and specialty supplements with lung and colorectal cancer risk in the VITamins and Lifestyle study.

Satia, Jessie A and Littman, Alyson and Slatore, Christopher G and Galanko, Joseph A and White, Emily (2009) Associations of herbal and specialty supplements with lung and colorectal cancer risk in the VITamins and Lifestyle study. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 18 (5). pp. 1419-1428. ISSN 1055-9965

[thumbnail of Complete manuscript]
Text (Complete manuscript)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (148kB) | Preview
Article URL:


Millions of Americans use dietary supplements with little knowledge about their benefits or risks. We examined associations of various herbal/specialty supplements with lung and colorectal cancer risk. Men and women, 50 to 76 years, in the VITamins And Lifestyle cohort completed a 24-page baseline questionnaire that captured duration (years) and frequency (days per week) of use of commonly used herbal/specialty supplements. Dose was not assessed due to the lack of accurate potency information. Supplement exposure was categorized as "no use" or "any use" over the previous 10 years. Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated by multivariate Cox regression models. Incident lung (n = 665) and colorectal cancers (n = 428) were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registry. Any use of glucosamine and chondroitin, which have anti-inflammatory properties, over the previous 10 years, was associated with significantly lower lung cancer risk: HR 0.74 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.58-0.94] and HR 0.72 (95% CI, 0.54-0.96) and colorectal cancer risk: HR 0.73 (95% CI, 0.54-0.98) and HR 0.65 (95% CI, 0.45-0.93), respectively. There were also statistically significantly inverse associations of fish oil: HR 0.65 (95% CI, 0.42-0.99), methylsulfonylmethane: HR 0.46 (95% CI, 0.23-0.93), and St. John's wort: HR 0.35 (95% CI, 0.14-0.85) with colorectal cancer risk. In contrast, garlic pills were associated with a statistically significant 35% elevated colorectal cancer risk. These results suggest that some herbal/specialty supplements may be associated with lung and colorectal cancer risk; however, these products should be used with caution. Additional studies examining the effects of herbal/specialty supplements on risk for cancer and other diseases are needed.

Item Type: Article or Abstract
Additional Information: This article is available to subscribers only via the URL above for the first 12 months following publication.
DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0038
PubMed ID: 19423520
PMCID: PMC2814533
Grant Numbers: R01 CA74846, K22CA096556, R03 CA 119683-01
Keywords or MeSH Headings: Aged; Chondroitin/administration & dosage; Colorectal Neoplasms/chemically induced/epidemiology/prevention & control; Dietary Supplements; Dimethyl Sulfoxide/administration & dosage; Female; Fish Oils/administration & dosage; Garlic/adverse effects; Glucosamine/administration & dosage; Humans; Hypericum; Incidence; Lung Neoplasms/chemically induced/epidemiology/prevention & control; Male; Middle Aged; Proportional Hazards Models; Risk Factors; SEER Program; Sulfones/administration & dosage; United States/epidemiology;
Subjects: Diseases > Solid tumors > Lung cancer
Diseases > Solid tumors > Digestive system cancer
Health Care > Risk and Preventive Health Services > Diet
Research Methodologies > Epidemiology > Risk assessment
Depositing User: Library Staff
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2010 21:06
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2012 14:42

Repository Administrators Only

View Item View Item