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"Vitamin C from diet linked to lower oral cancer risk"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 19 Mar 2022

Category: Other

Rating: (2½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Increasing a man's intake of vitamin C from food but not supplements may help reduce the risk of oral cancer, a new study suggests.
Oral cancer is the most frequently observed cancer in the head and neck, according to the B.C. Cancer Agency. There were an estimated 3,200 new cases and 1,100 deaths from oral cancer in Canada in 2006...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 9
Availability of Treatment Not Applicable
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This report of a study showing a link between vitamin C-rich foods and a reduction in oral cancers is balanced and relatively complete, with one exception. The authors note that people with the highest intake of vitamin C-rich foods "showed a 52 per cent reduction in risk compared with those with the lowest intake". The question we are left wondering is what the absolute risk is to start with, and how much the high vitamin consumers were able to reduce that risk.

What is good about the article is that careful caveats are explained, such as "dietary information may have been limited by participants' ability to recall what they ate," and that it is unknown if people changed their diet after their diagnosis. A competing theory on why the rates of oral cancer may be lower in those who consumer more vitamin C may be that people who eat healthier may otherwise take better care of themselves,

The bottom line, that there seems to be a benefit in vitamin rich foods, but not in supplements is obviously an area that needs more research. In the meantime, do as your mother said and eat your veggies.

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