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Here’s a quote from the news release of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Oct 12:
“In a trial that included about 35,000 men, those who were randomized to receive daily supplementation with vitamin E had a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer, according to a study in the October 12 issue of JAMA.”
That might surprise you. In fact, it actually kind of surprises me! I’m not a big fan of using supplements, unless you have good reason to (like a deficiency). I usually think supplement use among the general public doesn’t offer a substantial benefit but also doesn’t cause harm.
This study suggests differently though.
Here are some important facts to know about prostate cancer and this study:
- Lifetime risk of prostate cancer is 16%
- Most prostate cancers are detected early and treated with a 99% survival rate
- Although survival rates are quite high, treatment is not without side effects, including financial cost, urinary, sexual and bowel related issues
- This study was conducted by the Cleveland Clinic and enrolled over 35,000 men all over the the US, Canada and Puerto Rico
- The incidence of prostate cancer among men who were taking a vitamin E supplement was 17% higher
Also – here’s a great review of the topic: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alfred-neugut-md-phd/vitamin-e-prostate-cancer_b_1006313.html
Why Does This Matter?
According to the news release, “more than 50 percent of individuals 60 years or older are
taking supplements containing vitamin E and 23 percent of them are
taking at least 400 IU/d despite a recommended daily dietary allowance
of only 22.4 IU for adult men, [therefore] the implications of our observations are
In case you didn’t catch that, it matters because more than half of Americans are using a vitamin E supplement, and almost a quarter of them are taking more than 15 times the recommended amount each day!
It’s definitely something for men to think about. Be sure to check your vitamin bottles!
For more on vitamin use, check out these topics from the past:
Vitamins and Herbs for Cancer Prevention: The Facts!
New Vitamin D and Calcium Recommendations Part I: What Does it Mean for You?
Part II: New Vitamin D Recommendations and Cancer Prevention
Coming up in the next article is a review of an article on foods that are being researched for prostate cancer prevention.
PS. We had a really great Cooking Class, thanks to Chef Jeff Bacon and the Triad Community Kitchen at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Winston-Salem. Special thanks to the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association for sponsoring the locally grown winter squash that we used in the recipes! Recipes will be posted soon!