Digital New Report – Researchers analyzing data from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention (SELECT) Trial found that there was an increased risk of developing prostate cancer in men who took 400 international units (I.U.) of vitamin E supplements daily. The study results will be in the October 12, 2011 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The SELECT trial was conducted at over 400 clinical locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. There was over 35,000 men who participated in the trial, which started in 2001 and the research ended in 2010. In 2008, the men stopped taking the vitamin supplements because it was not showing a reduced risk of 25 percent. Previous research suggested a 25 percent reduction in prostate cancer from taking these two supplements. The study was designed to show a reduction in prostate cancer from taking selenium and/or vitamin E supplements.
J. Kellogg Parsons, MD, MHS, one of the authors of this study and an investigator at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center said that vitamin E and selenium lacked benefits for preventing prostate cancer.
The study results showed a 17 percent increase in cases of prostate cancer with men who were taking the vitamin E supplement. For every 1,000 men, there were 76 cases of prostate cancer with vitamin E supplement takers compared to the placebo group who had 65 cases per 1,000 men.
The participants were divided into one of four groups. One group took both the selenium and the vitamin E supplement. The second group took the selenium with a placebo. The third group took a vitamin E supplement with a placebo. The fourth group took two placebos.
The researchers said that selenium only takers had a slight increased risk, but it is so small it could be unrelated. More research would be needed for selenium.
Additionally, the researchers point out that the amount of vitamin E is a much higher dose than is typically found in a supplement. Instead of 400 IU, most multi-vitamins contain between 22.5 IU to 60 IU. They did not research the effects of taking a multivitamin in this study. Parsons suggested that men taking vitamin E should talk with their doctors about the results of this study to determine what to do.
By: Jason Chang