Vitamin, mineral, and specialty supplements and risk of hematologic malignancies in the prospective VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Oct;20(10):2298-308. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0494. Epub 2011 Jul 29.


Background: Increasing evidence suggests that nutrients from fruits and vegetables have chemoprotective effects on various cancers including hematologic malignancies, but the effects of nutritional supplements are poorly examined.

Methods: Herein, we prospectively evaluated the association of vitamin, mineral, and specialty supplements with incident hematologic malignancies in 66,227 men and women aged 50 to 76 years from Washington State recruited from year 2000 to 2002 to the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study. Hematologic malignancies cases (n = 588) were identified through December 2008 by linkage to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry. HRs and 95% CIs associated with supplement use were estimated with Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: After adjustment, high use of garlic supplements [≥4 days per week for ≥3 years; HR = 0.55 (95% CI = 0.34-0.87); P(trend) = 0.028] and ever use of grape seed supplements [HR = 0.57 (95% CI = 0.37-0.88)] were inversely associated with hematologic malignancies in our models. In addition, high use (8-10 pill-years) of multivitamins was suggestive of an inverse association [HR = 0.80 (95% CI = 0.64-1.01)]. In contrast, no associations were observed for the remaining supplements.

Conclusions: These data indicate that the use of garlic and grape seed may be associated with reduced risk of hematologic malignancies.

Impact: This is the first cohort study to suggest a possible role of these supplements in the chemoprevention of hematologic malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minerals / therapeutic use*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*
  • Washington


  • Minerals
  • Vitamins