Moderate, daily doses of vitamin E sharply reduced the risk of prostate cancer in male smokers and also lowered their chances of dying from the disease, according to the latest results from a large prevention trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Public Health Institute of Finland (J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998;90:440-446).
In the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (ATBC Study), 29133 Finnish male smokers 50-69 years of age were randomly assigned to receive a 50-mg daily dose of vitamin E (as α-tocopherol), a 20-mg daily dose of beta carotene, both supplements, or a placebo. The latest analysis of the study's findings found that the men who received the daily dose of 50 mg of vitamin E—about 3 times the recommended daily allowance—for 5 to 8 years (and a median of 6.1 years) had one third fewer prostate cancer diagnoses and 41% fewer prostate cancer deaths compared with men who did not receive vitamin E.
Stephenson J. Vitamin E and Prostate Cancer. JAMA. 1998;279(15):1153. doi:10.1001/jama.279.15.1153