Daily intake of a vitamin E supplement, once thought to reduce cancer risk, increases chances of prostate cancer among men, new research says.
The finding is based on a report summarising the latest results of the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), conducted by Eric Klein, professor at the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic in the US.
SELECT began in 2001 to test earlier research suggesting selenium and vitamin E supplements may reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports.
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, according to a Cleveland Clinic statement.
The paper found that a group of men taking a daily dose of 400 units 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 Klein, an internationally-renowned prostate cancer expert who served as the national study coordinator.
SELECT tracked more than 35,000 men at locations across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico who took daily doses through the fall of 2008.