The researchers studied rats that were fed a high-fat diet (20 percent fat) over a 32 week period.
The rats were divided into 6 groups, which were exposed to different combinations of supplements and carcinogens; the colon carcinogenisis induced in the study rats had characteristics that mimic human colon cancer.
Rats fed a high-fat plus low-fibre diet and exposed to carcinogens developed pre-cancerous lesions; whereas, rats undergoing similar treatment, but provided with daily multivitamin and mineral supplements, showed a significant (84 percent) reduction in the formation of pre-cancerous lesions and did not develop tumours.
The researchers concluded that "multivitamin and mineral supplements synergistically contribute to the cancer chemopreventative potential, and hence, regular supplements of multivitamins and minerals could reduce the risk of colon cancer."
The study was published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (CJPP).