vitamin E

  1. 2 key antioxidants help battle breast cancer and may stop it returning

    I remember when a friend of mine got cancer, her oncologist told her to stop taking vitamins. They might protect the cancer cells and get in the way of your treatment, he warned. But that‘s a bunch of baloney. Antioxidants help to battle breast cancer. So take your vitamins, especially if you're fighting breast cancer.

    A recent study found that women with breast cancer who took two key antioxidants following their diagnosis significantly cut their risk of recurrence.

    For this study, researchers recruited about 5,000 women with invasive breast cancer. About six months after surgery, the women answered questions about their vitamin usage. Then, the researchers followed the women over the next four years to examine how antioxidants help battle breast cancer.

    Here's what they found...

    Unfortunately, the cancer returned in 532 of the women. But the women who took two key antioxidants during the first six months following their diagnosis slashed their recurrence risk.

    In fact, women who used vitamin C for more than three months had a 38 percent lower risk of recurrence. Plus, they had a 44 percent lower mortality risk (compared to those who didn‘t use the vitamin).

    The benefits for taking vitamin E were even greater. Researchers found that women who took vitamin E for three months or more reduced their recurrence risk by 48 percent. Plus, they reduced their mortality risk by 43 percent compared to non-vitamin takers.

    According to the study's authors: "There is a widespread concern that the use of antioxidant supplements during cancer treatment may protect tumor cells from the oxidative damage induced by cancer therapies, thereby reducing the effectiveness of treatment and increasing risk of mortality. We found no evidence that vitamin use during the first six months following diagnosis had a detrimental effect on breast cancer outcomes."

    That's putting it lightly. I'd say a 38 to 48 percent reduction in recurrence rates is huge news! Every oncologist should give these vitamins to their breast cancer patients and explain how the antioxidants help battle breast cancer.

    But it will never happen.

    Most oncologists only want to tell you about drugs. Drugs like Avastin.

    Avastin is mainly used to treat lung and colon cancer. But the FDA approved its use for breast cancer back in 2008 based on evidence that it could add up to five months to a woman‘s lifespan. It works by cutting off the supply of blood vessels to a tumor.

    But since 2008, study after study has shown that Avastin does not extend the lifespan of a woman battling metastic breast cancer. Yet oncologists, Big Pharma, and patients groups want to keep it on the market. Tragically, this may do more harm than good.

    The FDA will make the call about Avastin‘s sometime in June. I‘ll keep youposted. But in the meantime, if you want to keep cancer out of your life forgood, keep taking your vitamin C and vitamin E and encourage others to discover how antioxidants help fight breast cancer.

  2. Study finds link between vitamin E and prostate cancer

    Scientists from Australia found that vitamin E and prostate cancer may share a connection. Vitamin E might play a major role hampering the development and re-growth of prostate cancer tumors. For the study, Dr. Patrick Ling and a team of researchers injected mice with prostate cancer cells. Then, they divided the mice into two groups. They fed one group of mice water fortified with a form of vitamin E called gamma-tocotrienol or y-T3. The other group of mice drank regular water.

    Researchers found that 70 percent of the vitamin E mice never went on to develop prostate cancer tumors, despite being injected with malignant cells. And, yes, the remaining 30 percent did develop prostate cancer. But following surgery, their tumors were far less likely to re-grow or metastasize. On the other hand, tumors formed in 100 percent of the control group of mice not given vitamin E.

    Those incredible results, though tested on mice, show just how powerful  the relationship between vitamin E and prostate cancer really is.

    According to Dr. Ling, "Currently there is no effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer, because it grows back after conventional therapies in more than 70 percent of cases. But with [vitamin E3] researchers have found a better way to treat prostate cancer, which has the potential to inhibit recurrence of the disease."

    Dr. Ling went on to say that chemo, radiation, and hormone therapy fail to cure prostate cancer because they don‘t kill the cancer stem cell responsible for the re-growth of tumors. He also believes that y-T3 will also prove effective in suppressing other types of cancer, including breast, colon, liver and stomach.

    Dr. Ling and his team  have a vitamin E and prostate cancer clinical trial with men in the works. I‘ll pass on the results as soon as they‘re available. In the meantime, keep up the daily regimen of 400 IU of vitamin E. Choose only 100 percent natural vitamin E that contains mixed tocopherols. This will provide provide balanced antioxidant protection. At the very least, the bottle should say it contains d-alpha or D-alpha. Skip any bottle that says it contains Dl-alpha (note the different "Dl" prefix). This means it‘s a synthetic, cheap imitation of vitamin E. Plus, it probably won‘t contain y-T3.

  3. Fish oil supplements may help post-menopausal women slash breast cancer risk

    Be persistent and consistent with your fish oil supplement. It will be worth all the effort, especially if you're a woman. That's because a new study found that women who take fish oil for at least 10 years have a much lower risk of getting breast cancer. U.S. researchers asked 35,000 healthy, post-menopausal women about their supplement use. They found that many of women took specialty supplements as black cohosh, ginseng, and fish oil. Ten years later, 880 of the women developed breast cancer. But the women who took fish oil supplements for at least 10 years cut their risk of breast cancer by an impressive 32 percent! Researchers believe fish oil is helpful to women because it reduces inflammation, a key factor in the growth of breast cancer. As far as I can see, there's only one thing missing from this fantastic study: Vitamin E. You always need to take vitamin E along with any fish oil supplement. As I've said numerous times over the years, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil produce free radicals. But the antioxidants in vitamin E will zap any free radicals before they can cause any harm.
  4. Combat cardiovascular risk with four-antioxidant combo

    We just learned that vitamin E plays a major role in preventing Alzheimer's disease. But vitamin E is hardly a one-trick pony. In fact, another study out this week shows that vitamin E, along with three other antioxidants, can help combat cardiovascular disease. For this study, Israeli scientists recruited 70 patients who had at least two of the following risk factors:
      • high blood pressure
      • diabetes
    low HDL cholesterol (or "good" cholesterol)
    • smoked cigarettes
      Scientists divided participants into two random groups. The first group received 1000 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, 200 mcg of selenium, and 120 mg of coenzyme Q10 each day. The second group received a placebo. The participants continued this regimen for six months. After six months, researchers found that the antioxidant group experienced some major changes in their overall health. First off, the patients' HDL -- or "good" -- cholesterol increased. They also lowered their blood pressure. And their blood sugar levels came down as well. And best of all, the researchers noted an improvement in overall arterial elasticity in the antioxidant patients. And that's a biggie, because stiff arteries lead to heart attacks and strokes. On the other hand, the group receiving just the placebo for six months didn't experience any of these improvements. Their numbers all stayed the same. What's the take home message here, folks? There's always plenty you can do to improve your overall health...even if you've already been diagnosed with hypertension or diabetes. Now, of course, I would make a few tweaks to the Israeli regimen. First off, instead of taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C once a day, take that amount twice a day. (That's my minimum recommended level for healthy adults.) In addition, you can take 400 IU of vitamin E twice a day as well. I would also make sure to add magnesium to the mix for anyone with a heart condition or diabetes. Go for 500 to 800 mg of it per day. Magnesium helps to relax your blood vessels and normalize your blood pressure. And lastly, I would also add 1,000 mg of l-carnitine. This nutrient helps you turn fat into energy.
  5. Slash Alzheimers risk by 54 percent with powerful antioxidant

    As much as it may puzzle conventional researchers, Alzheimer's disease is a modern problem stemming from our modern diet. Over the years, I've told you about preventing Alzheimers Disease with B3. And now, a new study from Sweden shows that adding just one powerful antioxidant to your regimen may cut your Alzheimer's risk by more than half. Unravelling the mystery of Alzheimer's disease The overt signs of Alzheimer's disease don't usually appear until after the age of 60. But we now know that damage to the brain begins much earlier, often up to 20 years earlier. The disease begins when abnormal bits of protein called plaques and tangles begin to form in the brain. As a result, a person with Alzheimer's appears more forgetful or has trouble completing complex tasks, like handling money or paying bills. As the plagues and tangles take root, more healthy neurons in the brain begin to die. Eventually, the carnage spreads to the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for building and storing memories. By the final stages, damage is so widespread that even basic functions -- such as speaking or swallowing -- become impossible. Unfortunately, the top three Alzheimer's drugs on the market haven't been proven to slow the progression of this disease one iota. Not one iota! In fact, one independent study in the UK showed that patients taking the drug Aricept had virtually the same timeline for decline as patients taking a placebo (42% taking Aricept ended up in an institution after 3 years, versus 44% taking the placebo). I still scratch my head as to why doctors continue to prescribe those drugs when they clearly don't work. The better option obviously would be to prevent the disease altogether. And the new study out of Sweden proves that preventing AD naturally is entirely possible. Seniors cut Alzheimer's risk by up to 54 percent Scientists from Sweden began their study with a hunch...a hunch that a powerful antioxidant could protect the brain against Alzheimer's disease. The scientists recruited 232 patients over the age of 80 with no signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. They took samples of the patients' blood to check for vitamin E, an antioxidant typically associated with supporting the heart and immune system. Then, the scientists checked back in with their patients six years later. During that time, 57 of them developed Alzheimer's. But the patients who had plenty of vitamin E in their blood at the outset of the study had a clear advantage. In fact, these patients had a 54 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's. That's right. One simple vitamin cut their risk by more than half! So exactly how does vitamin E protect the brain? Well, scientists have no definitive answer. But generally, they think that it simply helps to gobble up free radicals that contribute to nerve damage in the brain. It also seems to play a role in preventing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is bad, no matter where it happens in the body. But in the brain, it can lead to the build-up of protein. And as you'll recall, protein in the hippocampus causes the early, overt signs of Alzheimer's disease. The person becomes more forgetful or has trouble handling money or paying bills. The good news, it seems that good 'ole E seems to help prevent all this. Vitamin E: More than just the sum of its parts With all the positive effects it has on your overall health and well-being, there's never been a better time to add vitamin E to your regimen. As this study showed, even men and women in their 80s benefited from this powerful antioxidant. Just remember, there are eight different naturally occurring forms of vitamin E. They all play a different role in the body. In fact, the participants in the study who garnered the most protection against AD had all eight forms of the in their blood. So if Alzheimer's is a concern of yours, make sure to look for an all-natural gel cap that contains all eight fractions of vitamin E.
  6. If you are not taking this vitamin yet...what are you waiting for?!

    A new study proves that Vitamin E may help supercharge your body's immune function and boost your body's response time to infection. I've been recommending for years that you take 400 IU of vitamin E along with your fish oil supplement, as it's alsoone powerful antioxidant...

    Vitamin E supercharges white blood cells

    In the most recent study, a group of scientists from Tufts University fed older mice dietary supplements containing alpha-tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) for six weeks. Older mice fed the supplement increased their bodies' response to infection. In fact, their white blood cells went into overdrive, responding to infection much quicker than the mice not given vitamin E.

    Plus, the older mice given vitamin E also had higher levels of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1) in their blood. IL-1 is a powerful protein produced by your white blood cells that helps your body fight infection. IL1 is so powerful in fact that scientists have tried to artificially replicate it in the lab and use it to treat cancer.

    The good news is; you can probably boost your IL-1 just by taking an all-natural vitamin E supplement. (Yes, the study was conducted with mice, but solid evidence abounds connecting vitamin E with immune function in humans.


    Look closely before you buy

    Vitamin E is a family of eight different molecules. Look for a gel capsule that contains 400 IU of 100 percent natural vitamin E with both tocopherols and tocotrienols. This will provide balanced antioxidant protection. Just skip any bottle that says it contains D1-alpha. This means it's a synthetic, cheap imitation of vitamin E. Instead, look for a bottle that says it contains d-alpha or D-alpha.

    One last word of caution: Vitamin E is a natural anticoagulant. So if you're on blood-thinners, make sure to check with your doctor before taking a vitamin E supplement.

  7. The Ghost of Vitamin E: Still Haunting Us Five Years Later

    Almost five years ago, Edgar R. Miller III PhD, an associate professor from Johns Hopkins University, dropped a bombshell on the nutritional world. He published an article warning us not to take large doses of vitamin E because it could increase our risk of dying. Miller's conclusions made a big splash in the mainstream news media. Everywhere you turned, you heard about the so-called dangers of vitamin E. I remember reading a particularly misinformed editorial in the New York Times entitled "Hazards of Vitamin E" after Miller's study was published. No big surprise there. Most mainstream hacks love to beat up on their favorite punching bag: nutritional supplements. To this day, we're still digging out of the mess created by Dr. Miller's study. Many people dropped vitamin E from their daily regimens. And that's a shame because it is one of the best tools we have to protect against heart disease and cancer. In fact, one recent study showed that taking vitamin E may reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 28 percent. Low levels of vitamin E, on the other hand, are linked to bowel and breast cancer. So how much can you safely take? I'll answer that in a moment. But first let's look at why Miller's report is still a load of phooey five years later. Comparing apples to oranges Miller's conclusions were based on data gleaned from 19 different clinical trials. He found that men and women who took 400 IUs or more of vitamin E over a seven-year period had a greater chance of dying as compared to non-vitamin E takers. Most experts take this kind of research—called a meta-analysis—with a grain of salt. It's very different from a placebo-controlled clinical trial. In a clinical trial, patients would have been selected based on uniform criterion (such as age, overall health, gender, etc.). They would have been randomly divided into groups and given identical amounts of vitamin E or a placebo for a standard amount of time. But in Miller's analysis, nothing was standardized. Each set of patients came from studies with different protocols (meaning they took different amounts of vitamin E for differing lengths of time). They even took different types of vitamin E. Some took natural vitamin E (far superior) and some took synthetic vitamin E. Lastly, many of the patients Miller used in his analysis suffered from different types of chronic ailments, such as Alzheimer's disease and high blood pressure. Miller lumped all these results together to form his conclusion. But this kind of practice is like comparing apples to oranges. It allows too many variables for the results to be written in stone. But that's not my only beef with Miller's conclusions. There's more... Making a mountain out of a molehill Miller and his colleagues concluded that men and women who took 400 IUs or more of vitamin E over seven years had a relative increased risk of dying of about 1.05. But 1.0 is considered neutral. In my book, a .05 increased risk is hardly a red flag. Even among statisticians, a .05 increase is negligible considering the variables in Miller's analysis. This study should have been ignored, not touted. There are plenty of legitimate studies (and I mean loads of clinical evidence) dating back to the 1950s showing that vitamin E benefits your overall health. But if you'd read the media printed at the time, you'd have thought that taking vitamin E was a surefire admittance ticket to the pearly gates. Safely taking vitamin E Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant found in oils, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables. It prevents cell damage and blocks the formation of free radicals (known to promote cancer). But as we get older, most of us don't get enough. And that's too bad. Because as we get older, vitamin E becomes even more important. In fact, according to a recent study by Yale scientists, men and women in their 70s and 80s with low levels of vitamin E in their blood experienced greater physical decline. The Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamin E is about 20 International Units (IU) per day. But that dusting of a dosage isn't going to get you anywhere. Vitamin E is safe in much higher doses. We've known that since the 1950s, when Wilfred and Evan Shute, (brothers and both MDs), used upwards of 8000 IUs of vitamin E on 30,000 patients with zero toxicity. Generally, I recommend looking for a gel cap that contains at least 400 IUs of vitamin E for someone in good health. Now here's where things can get tricky... Getting to know the vitamin E family Vitamin E is actually a family of eight different molecules. These molecules are divided into two groups: tocopherols and tocotrienols. Look for a gel capsule that contains these three tocopherols: beta, delta, and gamma. This is known as a "mixed tocopherol" because it contains three fractions of vitamin E. It provides balanced antioxidant protection. Alpha-tocopherol (sometimes listed as D-alpha or d-alpha-tocopherol) is the fourth fraction of tocopherol. It is the most common form of vitamin E supplements. But avoid taking this on its own as it upsets the balance of the other three factions, making them less effective. A word of caution: Dl-alpha (notice the difference in prefix) is a synthetic form of vitamin E and should be avoided for internal use. Look on the bottle to make sure it contains only 100 percent natural sources. If you can find a gel cap that adds in a healthy sprinkling of tocotrienols, that's even better! Lastly, always combine your vitamin E supplement with 200 mcg (micrograms) of selenium for enhanced antioxidant protection. A word of caution When adding vitamin E to your regimen, start out with lower amounts and gradually increase your dosage over several weeks. Occasionally the nutrient can be so stimulating to the heart, you can experience a moderate and temporary increase in blood pressure. In addition, vitamin E is a natural anticoagulant. So if you're currently taking blood thinner meds, I wouldn't advise adding vitamin E to your regimen.

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