Antioxidant supplementation increases the risk of skin cancers in women but not in men. J Nutr

UMR U557 Inserm/U1125 Inra/EA3200 Cnam/Univ Paris 13, Bobigny, France 93017.
Journal of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.88). 10/2007; 137(9):2098-105.
Source: PubMed


This research aimed to test whether supplementation with a combination of antioxidant vitamins and minerals could reduce the risk of skin cancers (SC). It was performed within the framework of the Supplementation in Vitamins and Mineral Antioxidants study, a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, primary prevention trial testing the efficacy of nutritional doses of antioxidants in reducing incidence of cancer and ischemic heart disease in the general population. French adults (7876 women and 5141 men) were randomized to take an oral daily capsule of antioxidants (120 mg vitamin C, 30 mg vitamin E, 6 mg beta-carotene, 100 microg selenium, and 20 mg zinc) or a matching placebo. The median time of follow-up was 7.5 y. A total of 157 cases of all types of SC were reported, from which 25 were melanomas. Because the effect of antioxidants on SC incidence varied according to gender, men and women were analyzed separately. In women, the incidence of SC was higher in the antioxidant group [adjusted hazard ratio (adjusted HR) = 1.68; P = 0.03]. Conversely, in men, incidence did not differ between the 2 treatment groups (adjusted HR = 0.69; P = 0.11). Despite the small number of events, the incidence of melanoma was also higher in the antioxidant group for women (adjusted HR = 4.31; P = 0.02). The incidence of nonmelanoma SC did not differ between the antioxidant and placebo groups (adjusted HR = 1.37; P = 0.22 for women and adjusted HR = 0.72; P = 0.19 for men). Our findings suggest that antioxidant supplementation affects the incidence of SC differentially in men and women.

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Available from: Khaled Ezzedine, Dec 14, 2013
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    • "Unexpectedly, in a recently published systematic review by Bjelakovic et al. on 78 randomized clinical trials on antioxidants supplementation including selenium, β-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E, not only have no favorable effects been observed, but additionally, mortality rates have risen (Bjelakovic and Gluud, 2007; Bjelakovic et al., 2012). Surprisingly, it has been shown that antioxidant supplementation may increase the risk of skin malignancy in women (Hercberg et al., 2007). There are also a number of reports, in which a history of longtime supplementation with carotenoids has increased risk of malignancy in smokers and patients with tuberculosis (Albanes et al., 1996; Omenn et al., 1996; Holick et al., 2002; Shiels et al., 2011). "

    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Frontiers in Physiology
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    • "The Supplementation in Vitamins and Mineral Antioxidants (SU.VI.MAX) study revealed that daily supplementation with nutritional doses of antioxidants decreased the overall incidence of cancer in men, but had no effect in women [64]. Further, the impact of antioxidant supplementation on skin cancer incidence, specifically, was examined within the framework of the SU.VI.MAX study [65], revealing an increased incidence of skin cancer in women and a trend towards decreased skin cancer in men receiving antioxidant supplements. The current study supports these findings in that, as reported in the SU.VI.MAX study, there is a trend towards increased tumor burden in female mice treated with vitamin E, a single antioxidant. "
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    ABSTRACT: Because of the ever-increasing incidence of ultraviolet light B (UVB)-induced skin cancer, considerable attention is being paid to prevention through the use of both sunscreens and after sun treatments, many of which contain antioxidants. Vitamin E is included as an antioxidant in many sunscreens and lotions currently on the market. Studies examining the efficacy of vitamin E as a topical preventative agent for UVB-induced skin cancer have yielded conflicting results. A likely contributor to differences in study outcome is the stability of vitamin E in the particular formulation being tested. In the current study we examined the effects of topical vitamin E alone as well as vitamin E combined with vitamin C and ferulic acid in a more stable topical formula (C E Ferulic®). Mice were exposed to UVB for 10 weeks in order to induce skin damage. Then, before the appearance of any cutaneous lesions, mice were treated for 15 weeks with a topical antioxidant, without any further UVB exposure. We found that topical C E Ferulic decreased tumor number and tumor burden and prevented the development of malignant skin tumors in female mice with chronically UVB-damaged skin. In contrast, female mice chronically exposed to UVB and treated topically with vitamin E alone showed a trend towards increased tumor growth rate and exhibited increased levels of overall DNA damage, cutaneous proliferation, and angiogenesis compared to vehicle-treated mice. Thus, we have demonstrated that topical 5% alpha tocopherol may actually promote carcinogenesis when applied on chronically UVB-damaged skin while treating with a more stable antioxidant compound may offer therapeutic benefits.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Recent evidence suggests that antioxidant supplements (although highly recommended by the pharmaceutical industry and taken by many individuals) do not offer sufficient protection against oxidative stress, oxidative damage or increase the lifespan. Some recent studies showed that antioxidant therapy has no effect and can even increase mortality [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53]. Schulz and coworkers showed that nutritive antioxidants completely abolish the extension of lifespan by inhibiting an adoptive reaction to ROS called mitohormesis [54]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress arises when there is a marked imbalance between the production and removal of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in favor of the prooxidant balance, leading to potential oxidative damage. ROSs were considered traditionally to be only a toxic byproduct of aerobic metabolism. However, recently, it has become apparent that ROS might control many different physiological processes such as induction of stress response, pathogen defense, and systemic signaling. Thus, the imbalance of the increased antioxidant potential, the so-called antioxidative stress, should be as dangerous as well. Here, we synthesize increasing evidence on "antioxidative stress-induced" beneficial versus harmful roles on health, disease, and aging processes. Oxidative stress is not necessarily an un-wanted situation, since its consequences may be beneficial for many physiological reactions in cells. On the other hand, there are potentially harmful effects of "antioxidative stress," especially in the cases of overconsumption of synthetic antioxidants. Antioxidants can neutralize ROS and decrease oxidative stress; however, this is not always beneficial in regard to disease formation or progression (of, e.g., cancer) or for delaying aging.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
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