Men who take a daily vitamin E supplement face an increased risk of prostate cancer, a new study has warned.
The finding comes from a report summarizing the latest results of the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT).
SELECT began in 2001 to test earlier research suggesting selenium and vitamin E supplements may reduce the risk of developing certain cancers.
Some vitamin supplements containing enhanced levels of selenium and vitamin E were marketed to consumers during this time period with claims of reducing cancer risk.
Researchers tracked more than 35,000 men at locations across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico who took daily doses through the Fall of 2008.
The men were divided into four groups: vitamin E and Selenium; vitamin E alone; selenium alone; and placebo. The group taking vitamin E was the only group shown to have a statistically significant increased risk of prostate cancer.
The study found that a group of men taking a daily dose of 400 IU of vitamin E from 2001 to 2008 had 17 percent more cases of prostate cancer than men who took a placebo.
“For the typical man, there appears to be no benefit in taking vitamin E, and in fact, there may be some harm,” said lead author Eric Klein, M.D., chair of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic.
The study was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.