. . . yes, if it’s the wrong kind!
The second study was done under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the potential benefits of vitamin E and selenium for preventing prostate cancer. It had to be terminated when researchers found 400 IU of vitamin E daily was actually increasing the risk of prostate cancer.
But what form of vitamin E were these scientists using? The wrong kind! Synthetic alpha tocopherol acetate! Here is a quote from my Roadmap to Choosing Supplements on vitamin E (emphases added):
There are different forms of vitamin E, and they are not equal in chemical structure or function. Most vitamin E supplements contain alpha tocopherol, yet there is growing evidence indicating that it may be harmful to consume alpha tocopherol without at the same time obtaining gamma tocopherol. They must be taken together for best results. Another problem is synthetic vitamin E, which is not well absorbed and has been found to be only half as effective as natural E. Further, synthetic vitamin E can interfere with the absorption of beta-carotene from food and lower carotene levels in the blood. Synthetic vitamin E acetate should never be taken; it has very little antioxidant and anticancer effects and can cause a loss of carotenes from the liver.
Gazillions of taxpayer dollars are spent on studies like this using ineffective and dangerous forms of vitamins. Apart from squandering resources, these studies create confusion and alarm by creating the false impression that all vitamins are worthless or harmful. Or is this the covert purpose of such studies?
In today’s toxic world, we desperately need extra antioxidant protection, and vitamin E is one of the most important antioxidant supplements you can take. Most people, especially those with any kind of cardiovascular problems, should be taking supplemental E, and it should be part of any anti-cancer protocol. But it must be natural, not synthetic vitamin E.
Even most natural forms of vitamin E are less than optimal as they contain one-third to one-half vegetable oil (usually soybean oil). This oil becomes rancid, creating health-damaging free radicals. The optimal vitamin E is the kind we sell at Beyond Health: natural, with mixed tocopherols, free of additives or oils.
Klein EA. Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). Journal of the American Medical Association. 2011;306(14):1549-1556.