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Men: Study Identifies Vitamin and Mineral with Prostate Cancer Fighting Potential

A recent study from researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston found that Vitamin E and Selenium may both play a role in protecting men against prostate cancer.

The results are published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers hoped to build on previous research from the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer study (1996) and the Alpha-tocopherol, Beta-carotene Cancer Prevention study (2003) which both indicated that vitamin E and selenium may have cancer fighting properties.

The study ran for three to six weeks and involved 39 patients undergoing a radical prostatectomy (a surgery where the prostate gland and certain tissues are removed).

Before the surgeries, patients were randomly split into three groups. One received vitamin E (400 IU), the second received selenium (200 mcg) and the third group received no supplementation and acted as a control.

Using prostate biopsy samples obtained from the surgically removed prostate tissues the researchers measured the expression of certain genes linked to the development and progression of prostate cancer.

Both vitamin E and selenium supplementation were shown to alter the expression of cancer related genes, although the two treatments appeared to affect different genes.

This study seems to support earlier trials showing vitamin E and selenium anti cancer benefits. It also sheds some light on the mechanism behind those benefits.

In addition to cancer prevention, a large body of evidence has demonstrated that both vitamin E and selenium may have wide ranging health benefits.

Selenium has been shown to reduce anemia risk, boost key antioxidant levels and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant shown to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and certain cancers.
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