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Certain Form of Vitamin E Linked to Lung Cancer Risk Reduction

A study published in the October 2008 issue of the International Journal of Cancer found that vitamin E consumption may reduce the risk of lung cancer by over 50 percent.

Researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center compared 1,088 patients with lung cancer to a control group of 1,414 healthy individuals for the study. The dietary habits of the participants were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. Information regarding demographics, lifestyle, and smoking habits were also collected.

Researchers found that participants who consumed the highest amount of vitamin E (over 7.73mg daily) were 53 percent less likely to have lung cancer than those who consumed the least (less than 4.13 mg per day). The researchers also found that the “form” of vitamin E was especially important to this risk reduction.

There are eight forms of vitamin E: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). Alpha-tocopherol is the main source found in our diets, and in most supplements.

The researchers identified that the 53 percent reduction in lung cancer risk was linked to vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol. No reduction in risk was associated with the other types of vitamin E.

This study was not designed to figure out exactly how vitamin E reduces lung cancer risk, but with 1.2 million people being diagnosed with cancer each year, results like these could prove to be increasingly valuable.

Of course, the best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is still by not smoking and limiting exposure to air pollution whenever possible. In addition to these important steps, the results from this recent study show that consuming more vitamin E may provide a helping hand to reduce your risk of lung cancer.
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