Effect of two years' supplementation with natural antioxidants on vitamin and trace element status biomarkers: preliminary data of the SU.VI.MAX study.Cancer Detect Prev 2001; 25(5):479-85CD
The "SUpplementation en VItamines et Minéraux AntioXidants" (SU.VI.MAX) study is a randomized double-blind, placebo controlled, primary-prevention trial designed to test the efficacy of a daily supplementation with antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, 120 mg; vitamin E, 30 mg; and beta-carotene, 6 mg) and minerals (selenium, 100 microg; and zinc, 20 mg) at nutritional doses (one to three times the daily recommended dietary allowances), in reducing the frequency of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. The study involves 12,735 eligible subjects (women aged 35-60 years, men aged 45-60 years) included in 1994 in France. They will be followed up for 8 years. The targeted population is the general population. The aim of this specific analysis is to assess the effect of 2 years of supplementation on biochemical indicators of vitamin and trace element on a subsample of 1000 subjects. The mean (+/- standard deviation) concentrations of plasma beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C, selenium and zinc among participants who were randomly assigned to receive a daily supplementation with beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium and zinc for 2 years were significantly higher than those who were assigned to receive placebo. Specifically, the mean concentrations among men in the intervention group were 0.86 +/- 0.70 micromol/L for beta-carotene, 35.3 +/- 9.3 micromol/L for alpha-tocopherol, 11.5 +/- 4.7 microg/ mL for vitamin C, 1.65 +/- 0.33 micromol/L for selenium, and 16.2 +/- 3.9 micromol/L for zinc. The mean concentrations among women in the intervention were 1.25 +/- 0.90 micromol/L for beta-carotene, 34.9 +/- 8.4 micromol/L for alpha-tocopherol, 12.6 +/- 4.0 microg/mL for vitamin C, 1.68 +/- 0.37 micromol/L for selenium, and 15.3 +/- 3.9 micromol/L for zinc. The values observed for beta-carotene and vitamin E in the supplementation group after 2 years of intervention are those that have been associated with the lowest risk of cancer in observational studies. They are definitely lower than concentrations reported in intervention studies showing an apparent negative effect of high levels of beta-carotene supplementation on the lung cancer incidence rate in high-risk subjects (initial level multiplied by 12-18). Data from the follow-up will ascertain if any plausible reduction in the incidence rate of cancers may be associated with such amounts of antioxidant agents.