Skooter reporting 10/12/11
Now read this! This is bad health news for people who love taking in Vitamin E. A new study says, there is more evidence that taking vitamin E pills can be risky. In the study men were monitored who took high doses of the vitamin for about five years and found they had a little bit increased risk of prostate cancer even after they quit taking the pills.
This is another sign that people should be careful about using vitamins and other supplements, doctors said. The lead author of the study Dr. Eric Klein of the Cleveland Clinic said people tend to think of vitamins as harmless substances, almost like chicken soup, take a little and it can't hurt. The study shows that is not so. Klein said if you have normal levels, the vitamin is probably of no benefit, and if you take too much, you can be harmed.
In this top quality study, men were randomly told to take a 400-unit capsule of vitamin E daily for about five years. There was 17 percent more likely to get prostate cancer than those given dummy pills. That dose, that is usually found in over-the-counter supplements, is nearly 20 times higher than the recommended adult amount, which is about 23 units daily.
This mean out of 1,000 men who took vitamin E, there were 11 additional cases of prostate cancer, compared with men taking placebo pills.
If you are a vitamin E users and given the new study results, what should you do? According to a supplement trade group, about 13 percent of American men take it.
You should stop taking large doses and talk to your doctor about risks and benefits from prostate cancer screening, Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, advised. Brawley who was not part of the research said taking smaller doses, would probably be fine.
Vitamin E helps nerves, muscles, blood vessels and the immune system and this nutrient is found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. For several years vitamin E have been promoted for disease prevention but scientific research disproved these claims and warned that they might increase risks for some conditions, such as heart failure.
This study is similar in the case of beta-carotene which once was thought to protect against cancer but recently it has been linked with increase risks for lung cancer, especially in smokers, Brawley noted. He suggested that there should be a global warning that excessive use of vitamins has not been proven to be beneficial and may be the other way.
Experts generally agree that foods are the best sources for vitamins.
The new study was published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. The National Cancer Institute and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine paid for the multimillion-dollar study.