Prevent Prostate Cancer with Vitamin E and Selenium




The information on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. Please see Disclaimer, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

Prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women may be partly due to iodine deficiency.

Japanese women consume 25
times more dietary iodine than North American women and have much lower breast
cancer rates. This dietary iodine comes from consumption of seaweed and other seafoods.

All men will develop prostate cancer if they live long enough and lack of vitamin D may be the most likely cause. - Cancer Causes & Control 9: 6 (DEC 1998):567-582

Zinc helps prevent prostate cancer.

Selenium reduces cancer risk.


Health Sciences Institute e-Alert

April 22, 2004


Dear Reader,

It seems like every year or so we hear the news about someone well-known who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Late last year, Secretary of State Colin Powell
underwent surgery to address this cancer, joining a list that includes Arnold Palmer, Rudolph Giuliani, and Norman Schwarzkopf.

The amazing thing is that we don't hear about many more cases than these. Because before this day is out, nearly 500 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer; that adds up to well over 150,000 every year. But this number might be reduced considerably if more men made a concerted effort to slightly alter their diets and then take a couple of supplements that have been shown to sharply reduce prostate cancer risk.

Protecting the prostate

Many HSI members are already aware that vitamin E is an effective prostate cancer fighter. Now a new study shows that two specific tocopherol forms of this vitamin may
provide especially potent preventive effects. 

As reported at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, scientists from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other prominent research centers reviewed data from 300 subjects enrolled in a large cancer-preventive study conducted in Finland.

Earlier research of the Finland data showed that men who took 50 mg of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E daily for more than five years reduced their prostate cancer risk by almost a third. The recent NCI study expanded on that research. Data was collected on 200 men who were prostate cancer-free, and 100 who were diagnosed with the disease. Blood samples revealed that men with the highest levels of alpha-tocopherol lowered their risk of prostate cancer by more than 50 percent, while those with the highest levels of gamma-tocopherol lowered their risk by nearly 40 percent.

Reporting on this study, BBC News stated that vitamin E supplements were not among the best absorbed forms of alpha-tocopherol, compared to vitamin E-rich foods (listed in the study as "almonds, spinach, mustard greens, green and red peppers and sunflower seeds"). No doubt, unprocessed sources of fresh food provide the most complete and absorbable vitamins in most cases. But that doesn't mean a vitamin E supplement isn't effective. In fact, the abstract for this study (the full report isn't published yet) states that the group of men in the Finland trial who received a vitamin E supplement and who also had the highest serum vitamin E levels at the outset of the trial, were at the lowest risk of prostate cancer when compared to any other group.

Getting the forms right

A quick word on tocopherol forms of vitamin E... 

There are three known tocopherols: alpha, beta and gamma. Alpha-tocopherol (sometimes listed as d-alpha-tocopherol) is the most common form in vitamin E supplements. D-alpha is the natural form. Dl-alpha is a synthetic form that should be avoided for internal use.

So if you're currently taking a d-alpha-tocopherol vitamin E supplement (or a formulation containing this form), you don't need to change a thing. But you might consider adding beta and gamma tocopherols to provide a balanced intake of the forms. As the NCI study implies, the protection against prostate cancer that vitamin E offers would appear to be enhanced by combining the alpha and gamma forms.

Perfect pair

Of course, no discussion of prostate cancer prevention would be complete without a mention of selenium.

In the e-Alert "Trace Mineral Key to Preventing Prostate Cancer" (12/5/01), I told you about a Stanford University study that demonstrated how men with low blood levels of selenium are four to five times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men with normal levels of the mineral. The study also confirmed that selenium levels decrease as men age - mirroring the fact that prostate risk steadily rises as men age.

If you're a man over the age of 50, ask your doctor to test your plasma selenium level. The Stanford study suggests that a safe level is between 10.8 and 18.2 mcg/dl. If your level falls below that range, you can incorporate foods that contain selenium into your diet with fruits and vegetables (if grown in selenium-rich soil), beef, tuna, turkey, chicken, eggs and whole wheat bread. Brazil nuts contain more selenium than any other food: 840 mcg of selenium per ounce. Selenium supplements are also easily found in health food stores and through Internet sources.

Besides the fact that selenium has excellent antioxidant properties that have been shown to help increase insulin efficiency, selenium also enhances the effect of vitamin E, making it a perfect match for any vitamin E regimen designed to help prevent prostate cancer.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute

To start receiving your own copy of the HSI e-Alert, visit:
Or forward this e-mail to a friend so they can sign-up to receive their own copy of the HSI e-Alert.


"Higher Serum Alpha-Tocopherol and Gamma-Tocopherol Concentrations are Associated with Lower Prostate Cancer Risk" American Association for Cancer Research, 95th Annual Meeting, Abstract No. 1096, 3/28/04,
"Vitamin Fights Prostate Cancer" BBC News, 4/12/04,
"Quid Pro Quo" Health e-Tips, 7/7/03,
Copyright (c)1997-2004 by, L.L.C.
The e-Alert may not be posted on commercial sites without written permission.

Before you hit reply to send us a question or request, please visit here

If you'd like to participate in the HSI Forum, search past e-Alerts and products or you're an HSI member and would like to search past articles, visit
To learn more about HSI, call (203) 699-4416.


To cancel or for any other subscription issues, write us at:
    Order Processing Center
    Attn: Customer Service
    P.O. Box 925
    Frederick, MD 21705 USA


 Home Contents Library


Constipation Has Really Met It's Match With Oxy-Powder!


Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Flaxseed Brown, 24-Ounce (Pack of 4)

  • Case of four 24-ounce packages (96 total ounces)
  • Made from pure organic flaxseeds
  • Good source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • An excellent source of protein, fiber, and minerals such as magnesium and copper
  • Enjoy as a nutty snack or mixed into baked goods and cereal
  • Packaged in Milwaukie, Oregon
  • See our page on Healthy Fats.


Chia Seeds - 6 TOTAL POUNDS = TWO x 3 Pound Bags

  • Certified Organic Chia Seeds
  • full of omega 3 and omega 6 which are essential oils for the body
  • twice the protein of any other seed or grain, five times the calcium of milk
  • 90% Soluble Fiber
  • much-needed nutrients all natural and at a low cost
  • See our page on Healthy Fats.


In 1904 there was very little cancer. Now there is an abundance of cancer. What has changed? Can this be reversed? If you have cancer or do not want to get cancer the information you and your family need is on this web site.


Note: there are two ways to navigate this site. You can follow the pages in their logical sequence, or you can access every page from "Contents".


For your assistance, there are Google search boxes on each page that will allow you to search this web site or the entire Internet for more information.


Alkalize For Health Site Search 

Custom Search

Search the Internet with Google



Copyright 2000 - 2019 AlkalizeForHealth
All rights reserved.

Home               Contents               Library