Vitamin C and E Supplements May Not Ward Off Cancer
Vitamin C and E supplements may not help protect against cancer, according to new research. Nearly 15,000 male physicians—all over age 50—took part in the study. The participants were assigned to take either a daily 500-milligram vitamin C supplement and 400 international units of vitamin E every other day or placebo pills for a 10-year period, HealthDay reports. While some study participants developed cancer, there was not a statistically significant difference between the number who developed cancer in the supplement group and the placebo group. The new study follows recent findings indicating that vitamin C and E supplements don't help protect against heart disease.
"At least in the context of two very common outcomes—cardioprotection and chemoprevention—we see no compelling evidence to take vitamin E or C supplements," study author Howard Sesso, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told HealthDay.
Last week, U.S. News's Bernadine Healy named five reasons women should take vitamin D, even though that nutrient, too, does not appear to prevent cancer. In April, Katherine Hobson reported on diets that promote health. She also described the Mediterranean diet, Asian diet, Latin American diet, and vegetarian diets.
Why You Should Quit Smoking Now
Tobacco use, namely cigarette smoking, is the chief cause of preventable death in the United States. Left unbridled, smoking could kill more than a billion people this century, according to the World Health Organization. That equals the number who would die if a Titanic sank every 24 minutes for the next 100 years.
Hospital Ratings Sometimes Clash With One Another
U.S. News, publisher of the annual America's Best Hospitals rankings, isn't the only hospital-rating game in town. Corporate-backed groups such as Leapfrog and the federal government's Medicare arm, through its Hospital Compare page on the Web, are other examples of public reporting of hospital data and ratings, each with its own unique approach. A new study in Health Affairs, a public-policy journal, concludes that because the ratings measure different qualities and disagree with one another, consumers are confused rather than enlightened. As Health Affairs puts it, sometimes more is less. But U.S. News's Avery Comarow, who edits America's Best Hospitals, sees things differently, as he notes in Comarow on Quality, his blog.
Check out U.S. News's America's Best Hospitals special report, including how we conducted our rankings, a glossary of terms, and an in-depth look at one top hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
—January W. Payne