Should I stop taking vitamin E to prevent prostate cancer?

Dwight L. McKee, MD
Hematology & Oncology
At this point, it's hard to say whether taking vitamin E supplements will lower your risk for prostate cancer. In one large study known as the SELECT (Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial) study, men who took 400 International Units of vitamin E daily actually had a slightly increased risk for prostate cancer. Consider this, though: There are several forms of vitamin E. In the study, men took a form known as dl-alpha-tocopherol-acetate, which isn't known to destroy cancer cells. Another form of vitamin E, called alpha-tocopheryl succinate, has been associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer, in much smaller doses.

If you take vitamin E supplements for any reason, tell your doctor. If you aren't sure which form of vitamin E you take, bring the container to your doctor or pharmacist and ask. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.