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New Vitamin E Research at University of Rochester Tells How Vitamin Helps Prevent Prostate Cancer

  [ 17 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • June 20, 2002

ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists at the University of
Rochester believe they have discovered important clues on how Vitamin E helps
prevent prostate cancer, the second-leading cause of death in men in the
United States.

Researchers at the University of Rochester School of Medicine have
determined that Vitamin E performs two protective actions -- by inhibiting one
protein that attaches itself to the male hormone androgen, and also
restricting another protein, prostate specific antigen, or PSA.

Androgen is known to contribute to growth of cancer cells. The role of
PSA, which is widely used as a marker to indicate the presence of prostate
cancer in males, is uncertain.

The new research is being reported as U.S. health officials are conducting
a massive study looking at the use of both Vitamin E and the mineral selenium
for helping prevent prostate cancer.

The University of Rochester project found, however, that while Vitamin E
altered the two proteins, selenium didn't do so. Researchers said selenium
might function in different ways than Vitamin E.

The Vitamin E finding has been reported in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences and also in an article in the Los Angeles Times by writer
Dianne Partie Lange, who reported:

"This finding could lead to advances in prostate cancer treatment as well
as prevention. The scientists found that when alpha tocopherol succinate, a
type of Vitamin E, was added to an androgen-blocking chemotherapy drug, the
cancer cells grew more slowly than when the drug was used alone."

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