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Cancer experts said the results need to be confirmed by another study before recommending multivitamins to the public. These participants were healthier _ only 4 percent smoked, for example.

For people who do want to take multivitamins, doctors suggest:

_Be aware that they are dietary supplements, which do not get the strict testing required of prescription medicines.

_Ask your doctor before taking any. Vitamin K can interfere with common heart medicines and blood thinners, and vitamins C and E can lower the effectiveness of some types of chemotherapy. For people having surgery, some vitamins affect bleeding and response to anesthesia.

_Current and former smokers should avoid multivitamins with lots of beta-carotene or vitamin A; two studies have tied them to increased risk of lung cancer.




Vitamin facts:


Dietary advice:

Task force advice:

Vitamin E and prostate study:


Marilynn Marchione can be followed at