Best articles about Be careful with supplementation - Vitamin E is not as healthy as we thought.


Until recently vitamin E was considered as a wonder drug which protects us not only from getting old but also from many serious disease including heart disease, cancer and dementia. However, recently the U.S. researches show that vit. E increases the risk of prostate cancer in middle-aged men.

The results were published in the journal "Journal of the American Medical Association." Conducted research lasted for several years and included more than 35 thousand men. It revealed that those men who took supplements of vitamin E in relatively high doses (doses you can buy in a pharmacy without a prescription) on a daily base are about 17% more likely to develop prostate cancer!

Eric Klein, had of search and prostate cancer expert at the Cleveland Clinic, claims that we have to rethink about whether taking vitamin E may help someone. It seems to be especially important in the light of last researches which do not only confirm the anti-cancer properties of vitamin E but also suggest that vit. E can be dangerous for our health.

The results of the study can add to the series of experiments that confirmed that vitamins and supplements are useless and, in some cases may be harmful. For example, the "Archives of Internal Medicine" published scientific work according to which among older women who were taking a regular multivitamin, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper, mortality was higher than among those who never took this type of medicines.
Howard Parnes from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) warns that a popular thinking that vitamins and supplements are safe cause they are natural is misleading and dangerous. It is especially important since about half of adult Americans and Europeans take this kind of preparations. Residents of the United States spends over 28 billion dollars a year on vitamins, minerals and other substances. So far, no scientist could confirmed that any dietary supplements, except for beta carotene, brings health benefits.

In 2001, the U.S. National Institutes of Health launched a research project on prostate cancer (second most common and deadly cancer among men). The reason was a previously conducted clinical and laboratory tests which have shown that vitamin E and selenium may protect against prostate cancer.The study included 35 533 participants over fifty of 427 cities in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. All men were divided into four groups. In the first group everybody were taking 400 IU vitamin E and 200 micrograms of selenium, in the second group vitamin E and the placebo that looks like selenium, selenium, in third selenium and placebo that looks like vitamin E, and in fourth two placebo.

Latest analysis, based on data collected after the suspension of tests, showed that the risk of prostate cancer was higher among men who were supplementing. Among men who were taking only vitamin E reported 620 cases of prostate cancer, in the group where participants were taking vitamin E and selenium 555 cases, in the group with selenium and placebo 575 cases and in the group with two placebos 529 cases.
Unfortunately, researchers are still not sure how vitamin E increases the risk of prostate cancer. One of the theories suspects that antioxidants which are taken in very high doses become pro-oksidants. Parnes stresses that in nature balance is crucial for all organisms, therefore too high concentration of one nutrient reflects negatively on others.

According to Duffy Mac Kay (Council for Responsible Nutrition) - vitamins and microelements work in synergy and therefore the nutrients clinical tests conducted separately for each supplement are not fully reliable.
The conclusion is: so far, the human laboratory invention is not even comparable with the creation of mother nature. If you want to be healthy you should be on a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which delivers high doses of vitamins and other nutrients, and has antioxidant properties.

Source: The Washington Post