Vitamin E in the Prevention of Prostate Cancer: Where Are We Today?
AbstractI-Min Lee, J. Michael Gaziano, Julie E. Buring In their landmark study in 1981, Doll and Peto estimated that 35% of cancer deaths in the United States could be attributed to dietary factors (1). One of the mechanisms they proposed for this association was âdeactivation, or prevention of formation, of short-lived intracellular speciesâ by antioxidants in the diet. At that time, the National Cancer Institute had also begun its focus on cancer prevention (2) and had funded large-scale randomized clinical trials to test antioxidant vitamins and minerals in cancer prevention (3â11). Among the antioxidant vitamins of great interest, both among scientists and the general public, was vitamin E. The results of these vitamin E trials (3â5,9â11), however, have generally been disappointing because they have indicated that intake of this vitamin provides little protection against cancer overall in well-nourished populations. To date, few completed trials have provided data on vitamin E intake and prostate cancer risk. The Alpha-Tocopherol, BetaCarotene Prevention (ATBC) Study reported that among male smokers, those assigned to receive 50 mg of Î±-tocopherol daily had a statistically signiï¬cant 32% lower prostate cancer incidence (speciï¬cally observed only for clinical but not latent disease) and a statistically signiï¬cant 41%