Getting plenty of vitamin E by eating foods such as nuts and olive oil appears to cut in half people’s risk of bladder cancer, a new study suggests.
The research, released at a cancer conference Sunday, is the latest blip in the ups and downs of perceptions about this nutrient’s powers to ward off disease. Experts once had high hopes that vitamin E would prove to be an important safeguard against heart attacks. But this faded as repeated studies failed to show any protective effect.
The new study offers a strong hint that dietary vitamin E may protect against bladder cancer, which kills about 12,500 Americans annually.
The study was based on questionnaires of the eating habits of about 1,000 Houston residents. Those whose vitamin E intake was in the top 25 percent had just half as much bladder cancer as those in the lowest quarter. The actual difference in the amount of vitamin-rich food the two extremes ate was small, however, the equivalent of a single daily serving of spinach or a handful of almonds.
The reduction was roughly the same, regardless of whether people got their vitamin E from food alone or in combination with vitamin pills.
Source: AP via the Kansas City Star newspaper.