Great news for you vitamin lovers.

A new study published in the International Journal of Cancer by researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found that higher levels of the alpha-tocopherol form of Vitamin E resulted in a 53% reduction in lung cancer. Cancer of the lung is the most common and deadliest form, from which more people die than any other type.  Only 25% of people diagnosed with lung cancer live for more than a year.

There are two main groups of vitamin E – tocopherols and tocotreinols – both of which contain the 4 varieties alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta. This study examined the tocopherol group. Unlike alpha-tocoferol, the beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherol forms of vitamin E failed to show significant benefits when considered by themselves.

This is thought to be the first study of its kind to distinguish between the different forms of Vitamin E with respect to lung cancer.  This is important as most people don’t realize there are so many different forms of vitamins, including natural vs. synthetic. Many studies of vitamin E, for example, may only use one of the sub-optimal or synthetic forms and then generalize the results to all forms of vitamin E. This is a common propaganda  trick and sloppy science.

It is thought that the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E is the most important lipid (fat)-soluble antioxidant, and that it protects cell membranes from oxidation by reacting with lipid radicals produced in the lipid peroxidation chain reaction. This would remove the free radical intermediates and prevent the oxidation reaction from continuing, an important element in the “free-radical” theory of aging and disease.

Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that contain an unshared electron. Free radicals damage cells and might contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer [5]. Unshared electrons are highly energetic and react rapidly with oxygen to form reactive oxygen species (ROS). The body forms ROS endogenously when it converts food to energy, and antioxidants might protect cells from the damaging effects of ROS. The body is also exposed to free radicals from environmental exposures, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. ROS are part of signaling mechanisms among cells. . . vitamin E might help prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals [emphasis added]. . . The mechanisms by which vitamin E might provide this protection include its function as an antioxidant and its roles in anti-inflammatory processes, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and immune enhancement.

So be careful when you read the junk studies and media propoganda by interest groups such as pharmaceutical companies and the mainstream medical establishment, both of which have a vested interest in keeping you as unhealthy as possible, as they try and convince you that vitamins are useless or even harmful to your health. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The main function of alpha-tocopherol in humans appears to be that of an antioxidant. Free radicals are formed primarily in the body during normal metabolism and also upon exposure to environmental factors, such as cigarette smoke or pollutants. Fats, which are an integral part of all cell membranes, are vulnerable to destruction through oxidation by free radicals. The fat-soluble vitamin, alpha-tocopherol, is uniquely suited to intercept free radicals and thus prevent a chain reaction of lipid destruction. Aside from maintaining the integrity of cell membranes throughout the body, alpha-tocopherol also protects the fats in low density lipoproteins (LDLs) from oxidation . . . Oxidized LDLs have been implicated in the development of cardiovascular diseases (See Disease Prevention). When a molecule of alpha-tocopherol neutralizes a free radical, it is altered in such a way that its antioxidant capacity is lost. However, other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, are capable of regenerating the antioxidant capacity of alpha-tocopherol (2, 3). . . Several other functions of alpha-tocopherol have been identified that are not likely related to its antioxidant capacity. For instance, alpha-tocopherol is known to inhibit the activity of protein kinase C, an important cell-signaling molecule. Alpha-tocopherol appears to also affect the expression and activities of molecules and enzymes in immune and inflammatory cells. Additionally, alpha-tocopherol has been shown to inhibit platelet aggregation and to enhance vasodilation (4, 5) . . . Scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute feel there exists credible evidence that taking a supplement of 200 IU (134 mg) of natural source d-alpha-tocopherol (RRR-alpha-tocopherol) daily with a meal may help protect adults from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, neurodegenerative diseases, and some types of cancer [emphasis added].

For example, the government website quoted earlier from the National Institute of Health concludes this about vitamin E and cancer as of this writing: “The inconsistent and limited evidence precludes any recommendations about using vitamin E supplements to prevent cancer.”

Whoa, wait a minute! How can the government say vitamin E cannot be recommended to help fight cancer when studies are coming out showing massive health benefits when supplementing with the proper form? It has been well established that the government often tries to protect the profits of the pharmaceutical industry  – even at the expense of your health – and does not want people to take too many vitamins and become too healthy. If the FDA had its way it would ban vitamin use altogether, and has in fact tried to regulate it in the past. The FDA also is trying to regulate and control the use of safe and healthy hormones like DHEA.

The studies referred to above are a part of an exploding mountain of evidence supporting the powerful disease-fighting and anti-aging properties of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Higher levels of vitamin E in other studies have also been correlated with better health, memory and cognitive function in the elderly, and improved cardio-vascular, cholesteral, and eye health, protecting the skin from ultraviolet radiation, in addition to benefits for diseases such as diabetes.

The American diet leaves most people with unsufficient levels of vitamin E as it is not easily found in abundant quantities in the most commonly consumed foods. For example, commercial food processing removes 50%-90% of vitamin E from wheat.  Sorry, but fries, doritos, beer and twinkies just don’t contain a lot of vitamin E.

Foods naturally high in vitamin E include, avocados, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and asparagus, nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts, seeds, olives, beans, wholegrain foods, milk, eggs, kiwi, mango and wheat germ. Many vegetable oils such as canola, corn, cottonseed, red palm, sunflower, rice and soybean also contain high levels of vitamin E.

One of the benefits of making foods rich in vitamin E-nuts, seeds, spinach, mustard greens, peppers and olive oil-a part of your healthy way of eating is an up to 50% reduction in risk of developing bladder cancer, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research, Orlando, FL, May 23, 2004 . . . Bladder cancer, which kills 12,500 Americans annually, is the fourth leading cancer killer among men, and is four times more common in men than women. The study, which included 468 bladder cancer patients and 534 cancer-free controls drawn from residents of Houston, TX, collected data using eating habits questionnaires. Those whose vitamin E intake was in the top 25% had half as much bladder cancer as those in the lowest 25%.

What are current public health recommendations for vitamin E?

In 2000, the National Academy of Sciences established the following Adequate Intake (AI) levels for vitamin E:

* Males and females, 0-6 months: 4 milligrams
* Males and females, 6-12 months: 5 milligrams

In 2000, the National Academy of Sciences established the following Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamin E:

* Males and females, 1-3 years: 6 milligrams
* Males and females, 4-8 years: 7 milligrams
* Males and females, 9-13 years: 11 milligrams
* Males and females, 14 years and older: 15 milligrams
* Pregnant females, 18 years and older: 15 milligrams
* Lactating females, 18 years and older : 19 milligrams

Have you been eating enough fruits and vegetables lately?

PS. It is important to know that some studies have suggested that supplementing with vitamin E actually increases certain types of cancer. This is possible because vitamins are not meant to be taken alone, in isolation from other supplements. And it is vitally important to take natural forms of vitamins, not the synthetic forms that biased researchers love to use to skew their results.

Vitamin E, like most vitamins, should always be taken with a wide variety of other supplements, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to balance their effect and allow them to work synergistically, the way nature intended. Taken properly,there is no way that vitamin E will increase cancer risk. No way.

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