Vitamin E Said to Cut Bladder Cancer Risk
Florida scientists in search of cancer-preventing nutrients discovered clues that
vitamin E may protect against bladder cancer. The study, just released, found that people
eat foods rich in this vitamin get bladder cancer only about half as much as those
who receive less vitamin E.
Some think vitamin E may protect against cancer by warding off the damaging effects
of oxygen. The strongest evidence of this so far has been against prostate cancer.
The study was based on questionnaires on 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. However, the actual difference in the
amount of vitamin E-rich food the two extremes ate was small, equal to a single daily
serving of spinach or a handful of almonds. Bladder cancer was roughly the same whether
people got their vitamin E from food alone or in combination with vitamin supplements.
The strongest evidence of vitamin E's anti-cancer effects comes from a study several
years ago on nearly 30,000 Finnish smokers. The study found those who took vitamin E
pills lowered their prostate cancer risk by one-third.
A current National Cancer Institute study is testing the effects of 400 milligrams
of vitamin E and 200 micrograms of selenium daily on more than 32,000 men for seven
years to see if these nutrients fight prostate cancer.
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Vitamin E Helps Maintain Mental Sharpness
Vitamin E intake in food and supplements may help slow decline in mental functioning
among older people, according to a study. "High amounts of vitamin E from foods appears
to be protective from cognitive decline," reports lead author Dr Martha Clare Morris,
assistant professor of internal medicine at Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center
in Chicago, IL.
The researchers theorized that vitamin E, an anti-oxidant, may counteract the damage
done to brain cells by free radicals, which are byproducts of normal body processes
that can damage tissue and have been linked to disease. Previous research has suggested
that people who consume more vitamin E retain mental function and are less likely to
develop Alzheimer's disease. According to the findings, the group who reported the
highest intakes of vitamin E had a slower decline in mental function than those whose
vitamin E intake was lowest.
The team recently reported similar findings for vitamin E and Alzheimer's disease.
High intake of the nutrient was linked to a 70 percent reduction in the risk of developing
the disease during a 4-year period. Together, Morris noted, the studies strongly suggest
that vitamin E has some protective effect on the brain. Vitamin E is found in green,
leafy vegetables as well as corn, nuts, olives, and vegetable oils. The
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