A recent article in JAMA reviews an updated report from a trial called the SELECT trial looking at the effects of Vitamin E on prostate cancer. The study began in 2001 looking at the effects of prostate cancer in three groups of men: men taking just Vitamin E, Vitamin E plus Selenium and just Selenium. The results published in 2008 revealed there was no decrease in the number of men who developed prostate cancer in any of the three groups. In fact, there was a trend toward an increase in the number of people who developed prostate cancer. This was studied further over the past three years and now the results are out…there is a 17% increase in the incidence of prostate cancer in men taking Vitamin E (400 IU per day).
Just a reminder that just because something is “natural” or over the counter does not mean it is without the risk of side effects. Make sure your doctor knows what supplements and over the counter medications you are taking.
Brooke Uptagrafft, MD
Dr. Brooke is a family medicine doctor.