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Dr. Jamie Fettig

Why Trust me, Dr. Jamie?

Vitamin E Found to Cut Prostate Cancer Risk in Half

Vitamin E Found to Cut Prostate Cancer Risk in Half

Hope for successfully treating prostate cancer mounts, as findings provide evidence of a treatment with promising results. High blood levels of alpha- and gamma-tocopherol--major vitamin E components--appeared to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by about 50 percent each.

These results are based on a study involving 100 individuals with prostate cancer and 200 individuals without, participating in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study, which included nearly 30,000 men in all. Not only did the study indicate that men with the highest levels of alpha-tocopherol in their blood at baseline were about 50 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than those with the lowest level of the vitamin, but it also showed:

Men with highest levels of gamma-tocopherol were 43 percent less likely to develop the cancer, compared with men with the lowest levels.

The connection between high tocopherol levels and low cancer risk was stronger among individuals taking alpha-tocopherol supplements compared to those not taking them.

These findings support those of the ATBC study, which showed daily vitamin E supplementation cut prostate cancer risk by 32 percent.

Vitamin E’s Antioxidant Properties

Because oxidative stress has been linked to the development of prostate cancer, researchers believe it is vitamin E’s antioxidant properties that may be the reason for the studies’ findings.

Moreover, alpha-tocopherol has other non-antioxidant properties, such as enhancement of the immune response, which may also play a role in the benefits observed of vitamin E.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute March 2, 2005;97(5):396-399

ABC News March 2, 2005


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