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Selenium, Vitamin E Supplements May Double Risk of Prostate Cancer

February 24, 2014 — The risk of prostate cancer may double for men who take Vitamin E or selenium supplements, especially men who have high levels of selenium, according to research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The conclusions are based on data from a trial that has been ongoing since 2001, when some studies suggested that selenium and Vitamin E could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) enrolled over 35,000 American men aged 55 years and older.

Participants took 200 micrograms of selenium and 400 IU of vitamin E every day. Normal dietary intake of selenium is 55 micrograms and 22 IU of vitamin E, which most people get through eating a balanced diet.

During the study, 1,739 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Among men who already had high levels of selenium, supplements increases their risk of high-grade cancer by 91% and levels of selenium became toxic. Among men who had low selenium levels at baseline, Vitamin E increased the risk of prostate cancer by 63% and the risk of high-grade cancer by 111%.

Researchers concluded that men should not take doses of selenium or Vitamin E that exceed recommended dietary intake levels.

The author of the study, Dr. Alan Kristal, stated:

“Many people think that dietary supplements are helpful or at the least innocuous. This is not true. We know from several other studies that some high-dose dietary supplements – that is, supplements that provide far more than the daily recommended intakes of micronutrients – increase cancer risk.  We knew this based on randomized, controlled, double-blinded studies for folate and beta carotene, and now we know it for vitamin E and selenium.”

Do I have a Dietary Supplement Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting dietary supplement induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by prostate cancer after taking Vitamin E or selenium, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Dietary Supplement Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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