Most people do not need to take a vitamin supplement because they can get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a healthy, balanced diet.
However, the supplement market is booming. According to one study, taking a common vitamin supplement increases the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Vitamin E has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, although it helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthens the body’s natural defense against disease and infection (the immune system).
However, studies looking at the long-term effect of vitamin E supplementation are limited.
In a study published in the journal JAMA, researchers sought to determine the long-term effect of vitamin E and selenium on prostate cancer risk in relatively healthy men.
Selenium is an essential component of many enzymes and proteins.
The report was part of the Vitamin E and Selenium Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) — a clinical trial to see if one or both of these substances can help prevent prostate cancer when taken as supplements.
A total of 35,533 men were selected from 427 study sites in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, between August 22, 2001 and June 24, 2004.
The primary analysis included 34,887 men who were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups: 8752 to receive selenium; 8737 Vitamin E; 8702 both types, and 8696 placebos.
The analysis reflected the final data collected by the study sites on the participants until July 5, 2011.
Compared to a placebo, where 529 men developed prostate cancer, 620 men in the vitamin E group developed prostate cancer. He also did 575 in the selenium group and 555 in the selenium group with vitamin E.
“Compared to placebo, the absolute increased risk of prostate cancer per 1,000 person-years was 1.6 for vitamin E, 0.8 for selenium, and 0.4 for the combination,” the researchers wrote.
The trial found that vitamin E supplementation (400 IU/day) was associated with a 17% increase in the risk of prostate cancer among men.
The authors concluded that “taking vitamin E supplements significantly increases the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men.”
Vitamin E Recommendations
According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), you should be able to get the amount of vitamin E you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
“If you are taking a vitamin E supplement, do not take too much as it may be harmful,” warns the DHSC.
Prostate cancer symptoms can include:
• The need to urinate frequently, often during the night.
• The need to rush to the toilet.
• Difficulty starting urination.
• Straining or taking a long time while urinating.
• Poor flow.
• Feeling that your bladder has not completely emptied.
• blood in the urine or blood in the semen.