Category Archives: Alternative Medicine

Vitamin C and E Prevent Cancer? NO

My naturopathic friends must be feeling a little quackish given their use, and sale through their offices, of myriad vitamins to prevent numerous diseases. Recent data debunk that notion:

“Coming on the heels of two studies discounting the usefulness of vitamin B, folic acid, vitamin D and calcium supplements for cancer prevention, U.S. researchers report that vitamins C and E supplements won’t help prevent cancer, either.”

“The participants experienced a total of 1,929 cases of cancer, including 1,013 prostate cancers. Overall, 490 men taking vitamin E developed prostate cancer compared to 523 in the placebo group, a difference that Sesso said was not statistically significant. Similar r esults were seen for vitamin C. The overall risk of cancer generally was also not statistically significant between the two groups.

“This is a very large, long-term clinical trial, and it was determined there was no effect from E or C,” Sesso concluded.”

As noted in the same article:

“When you take the nutrient out of its natural environment, it may not be protective,” said Jennifer Crum, a nutritionist at the New York University Cancer Institute, who added that in foods, vitamins and other nutrients likely work together to provide protection against cancer.”

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Selenium and Vitamin E don’t prevent Prostate Cancer

Another of the vitamin/mineral delusions seems to have been put to rest.

The notion that selenium did something against cancer goes back to a study published in 1996. It showed that selenium was not associated with decreases in skin cancer but noted incidentally that all factor mortality was less in the group supplemented with the mineral. This has led to a decade long love affair with selenium as a “anti-oxidant” disease preventative.

In fact it appears that selenium increases the risk of some types of skin cancer and now along with vitamin E has been proven ineffective in preventing prostate cancer.

Among other observations the study is reported to have noted:

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“The $119 million study, involving more than 35,000 men, also found hints that the nutrients might increase the risk for prostate cancer and diabetes”

“The announcement marks the latest in a series of disappointing findings about the potential health benefits of vitamins and other nutritional supplements, which earlier studies had indicated could have a host of advantages. One theory was that antioxidants could mop up damaging free radicals, which are a natural byproduct of cellular processes in the body.”

“But subsequent studies testing antioxidants and other nutritional supplements have not confirmed the benefits, and several have even been alarming. For example, beta carotene increased, rather than decreased, the risk of lung cancer among smokers, and Vitamin E — also touted as helping to prevent heart disease — appeared to boost the overall risk.”

Rather than alternative medicine, the anti-oxidant theory appears to be alternative reality. All those selenium containing products are worthless and should be discarded.

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