A recent study was completed that linked consumption of Vitamin E supplements to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Vitamin E, which occurs naturally in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils is an anti-oxidant. Generally speaking, anti-oxidants have been found to help preserve cells and increase resistance to cancer, yet the study indicates that taking excessive doses of Vitamin E can actually increase the risk of getting prostate cancer.
For perspective, over the course of the seven year study cited above, there were 76 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed per 1,000 men that consumed Vitamin E supplements, and 65 cases for men that did not consume a specific Vitamin E supplement.
On the bright side, the level of Vitamin E found in foods and multi-vitamins did not appear to impact prostate cancer rates. So what’s a man to do?
“Bottom line, eat your vegetables and be active,” Benjamin Caballero, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins University, said in an e-mail. “You cannot get those health benefits from any pill created by man.”
Some additional reading on this topic can be found in the Washington Post and through the following web sites:
- JAMA: http://www.jama.ama-assn.org
- National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov
- PSA recommendations: http://www.ahrq.gov
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