Micronutrients, the follow-up by referring to the

Micronutrients,
as the name suggests, are nutrients needed by the body in small quantities to
enable it to function properly. The contribution of it at preventing lung
cancer however has been a disputable topic due to variations in results gathered
by different means. A key factor considered to cause these variations is the
source from which these micronutrients were obtained from and this is what the
study primarily focuses on – the relationship between vitamin C, vitamin E,
beta-carotene & folate and the risk of lung cancer considering if they are
taken through the diet or supplements. Previous studies conducted around this
subject have found micronutrient supplements, e.g. beta-carotene, to have adverse
effects on lung cancer thereby making experimental investigations unethical.
This study (conducted in Denmark) was therefore based on observational data acquired
from 55,557 Danish people who were between 50-64 years old, resided in greater
Copenhagen/Aarhus and had never been diagnosed with cancer. Data regarding diet
was gathered via food frequency questionnaires listing 192 items from which the
average consumption of each item in the last 12 months was noted. Data
regarding supplements was gathered by asking open-ended questions on doses and
brands and categorical questions on frequency of use. Producers or distributors
provided information on the amount of micronutrient in each brand of
supplement. The mean micronutrient consumption per day was then calculated for
everyone. In addition to this, lifestyle questionnaires were also conducted to
take the factor of smoking which is the biggest risk factor of lung cancer into
account. The occurrence of lung cancer in the participants was then identified
during the follow-up by referring to the Danish Cancer Registry. The Cox
proportional hazards models were used to examine the relation between the
micronutrients in question and lung cancer, with age as the basis for time
scale. Furthermore, the likelihood
ratio tests found no major differences amongst different gender groups. The
results showed that during a median follow-up time of 10.6 years, 721 out of
the 55,557 participants were identified to have lung cancer, with a
considerable proportion of them being smokers. Vitamin E through the diet had a
notable protective effect however, beta-carotene supplements and dietary folate
showed to have an increased risk of
lung cancer. Vitamin E supplements, folic acid supplements and beta-carotene
through the diet did not show any significant effects. Vitamin C showed no
effect no matter where

The
effects of these three micronutrients showed to be dependent on dosage and the
source from which they were acquired from – diet or supplement. 

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