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Vitamin E cuts prostate cancer risk, so does vitamin C

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By David Liu, PHD

Monday July 23, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Taking vitamin E and C supplements or eating foods high in vitamin E and or vitamin C may help men reduce risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a study in Acta Oncologia.

The study led by E.  Bidoli of Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS, Aviano, (PN), Italy and colleagues found men who had highest vitamin E intake were 22 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer, compared to those who had the lowest intake.

A similar association was found between vitamin C intake and risk of prostate cancer. Men who had the highest intake were 14 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer compared with those who had the lowest intake.

Factors like age, body mass index, and family history of prostate cancer did not affect the associations.

The study involved 1,294 men with diagnosed prostate cancer and 1451 controls who did not have the disease. 

The researchers concluded "The present study shows an inverse association between dietary intake of vitamins E and prostate cancer incidence. This finding is likely to reflect the influence of diet itself since supplementation or food fortification with vitamins is rare in the Italian population."

Vitamin E and C are cheap.  They can be found in all sorts of fruit and vegetables, but not in animal-based foods.  For those who take vitamin E and C supplements, make sure that the supplements they use are free of junk ingredients like silica, artificial colorants and flavors.

In the U.S., more than 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and the disease is expected to  kill about 50,000 Americans in 2012, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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