Use of vitamin E linked to raised prostate cancer risk

VITAMIN E supplements may significantly increase the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men, researchers warn.

Long-term follow-up of approximately 30,000 men aged 50-plus years participating in the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) found that among those taking 400 IU of vitamin E daily there were 11 more cases of prostate cancer per 1000 men compared to those on placebo, a 17% increased risk. 

The trial, conducted in the US, Puerto Rico and Canada was halted early due to lack of effect on prostate cancer. Examination of follow-up data showed an increased risk of the cancer with vitamin E, while men randomised to a group taking selenium alone or in combination with vitamin E had no increased risk.    

JAMA 2011; 306:1549-56

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