So, what is the deal with vitamin E? Vitamin E had been a generally recommended for men with prostate cancer, then research put it on the out. Now, a new study from Brisbane Australia suggests a new vitamin E treatment could improve prostate cancer survival rates by inhibiting prostate cancer recurrences and progression in men with advanced disease.

Dr. Patrick Ling and colleagues at Queensland University of Technology in Australia found a particular constituent of vitamin E called tocotrienol or T3 can successfully kill off the prostate cancer stem cells believed to promote tumor re-growth.

“Currently there is no effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer, because it grows back after conventional therapies in more than 70 percent of cases,” Ling said in a statement. “But with gamma-tocotrienol, Queensland University of Technology researchers have found a better way to treat prostate cancer, which has the potential to inhibit recurrence of the disease.”

Ling and colleagues conducted animal trials for a study that found gamma-tocotrienol fed to mice in water completely inhibited tumor formation in more than 70 percent of the animals implanted with prostate cancer cells and considerably reduced tumor re-growth in the remainder. In contrast, 100 percent of the control group had tumors reform.

The study is published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Remember, how something works, even in mice, does not mean that it will react in a similar fashion in people. My thoughts are that normal doses of vitamin E probably will not hurt you and possibly it could help so why not add this to the routine, but don’t start taking mega-doses.


(From the Mayo Clinic)

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties. Vitamin E exists in eight different forms (isomers): alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocopherol; and alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocotrienol. Alpha-tocopherol is the most active form in humans. Dosing and daily allowance recommendations for vitamin E are often provided in Alpha-Tocopherol Equivalents (ATE) to account for the different biological activities of the various forms of vitamin E, or in International Units (IU), which food and supplement labels may use.

Vitamin E supplements are available in natural or synthetic forms. The natural forms are usually labeled with the letter “d” (for example, d-gamma-tocopherol), whereas synthetic forms are labeled “dl” (for example, dl-alpha-tocopherol).

Vitamin E has been proposed for the prevention or treatment of numerous health conditions, often based on its antioxidant properties. However, aside from the treatment of vitamin E deficiency (which is rare), there are no clearly proven medicinal uses of vitamin E supplementation beyond the recommended daily allowance. There is ongoing research in numerous diseases, particularly in cancer and heart disease.

Recent concerns have been raised about the safety of vitamin E supplementation, particularly in high doses. An increased risk of bleeding has been proposed, particularly in patients taking blood-thinning agents such as warfarin, heparin, or aspirin, and in patients with vitamin K deficiency. Recent evidence suggests that regular use of high-dose vitamin E supplements may increase the risk of death (from “all causes”) by a small amount, although a different study found no effects on mortality in women who took vitamin E daily. Caution is warranted.

The recommended dose for male adults is Adults 15 mg (22.5 IU).

Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.