‘Absolutely avoid’: The vitamin supplement shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer

CANCER is a nightmarish prospect, not least because there is currently no cure for the deadly disease. However, steps can be taken to mitigate the risk. Startling findings suggest a popular vitamin supplement can increase the risk of prostate cancer in men.

CANCER is a nightmarish prospect, not least because there is currently no cure for the deadly disease. However, steps can be taken to mitigate the risk. Startling findings suggest a popular vitamin supplement can increase the risk of prostate cancer in men.

Despite the billions invested into research, a cure for cancer remains out of reach. This illustrates the enormity of the challenge: cancerous cells are fiendishly difficult to stop. However, progress is afoot in understanding what drives the development of the deadly disease and some of these factors can be modified.

Research has uncovered many lifestyle factors that raise the risk of cancer but one that raises a few eyebrows is vitamin E supplementation.

Vitamin E helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthen the body’s natural defence against illness and infection (the immune system).

Most people should get all the vitamin E they need through their diet and growing evidence suggests this is a much safer approach.

Studies done in the 80s and 90s suggested that vitamin E and selenium each somehow provided protection against prostate cancer.

The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) was started in 2001 to investigate the findings further.

The 36,000 healthy, middle-aged volunteers were divided into four groups.

Each man took two pills a day: 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E plus 200 micrograms of selenium; vitamin E plus a placebo; selenium plus a placebo; or two placebos. Neither the men nor their doctors knew who was taking what.

Although SELECT was supposed to last until 2011, it was stopped three years early because neither vitamin E nor selenium were showing any benefit — and there were vague warning signs they might be doing some harm.

Source: Express

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