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HHS HealthBeat (November 8, 2011)

The questionable prostate supplement

Man talks with his doctor about prescriptions
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Can vitamin E supplements reduce men’s risk of prostate cancer? Early studies indicated a reduced risk, but a more in-depth study later found no change in risk. And now, a large study of men who took large doses indicates a risk of something worse.

Researchers in the latest study followed about 35,000 men for 18 months after they stopped taking supplements. Dr. Eric Klein of the Cleveland Clinic:

``Men who took vitamin E alone at 400 international units a day in addition to  a normal diet were at a 17 percent higher risk of developing prostate cancer.’’ (8 seconds)

Dr. Klein says people should look for solid evidence about supplements.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: November 8, 2011