ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Winter Is Tough on Feet
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
CANCER
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
More Than 60,000 Patients Risked Hepatitis Infections
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
Radiation Exposure Linked to Aggressive Thyroid Cancers
EYE CARE, VISION
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
FITNESS
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Stressed and Exhausted: An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Add your Article

Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Despite earlier promise, three nutrients - vitamin E, selenium and soy - do not seem to prevent prostate cancer in men with precancerous prostate lesions, Canadian researchers report.

"There has been a collection of scientific data that has suggested that these agents could have a tremendous impact in preventing prostate cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Neil E. Fleshner, a Clinical Studies Resource Centre Member at the Ontario Cancer Institute and Love Chair in Prostate Cancer Prevention at the University of Toronto.

"So there was great hope that this would be a magic bullet that would help prevent prostate cancer," he said. "Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be so."

The report was to be presented Sunday at the American Urological Association's annual meeting, in Chicago.

For the study, Fleshner's team randomly assigned 303 men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (precancerous lesions) to receive soy protein, vitamin E and selenium, or a placebo. Over three years, the men had several biopsies to determine if they had developed prostate cancer.

Just over 26 percent of the men did develop invasive prostate cancer. However, the three nutrients did not seem to minimize that risk, the team found.

"To recommend soy and these supplement to men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia really doesn't make much sense, if the reason you are giving it is to prevent your patient from developing invasive cancer," Fleshner concluded.

He did leave the door open to using these supplements to prevent prostate cancer before precancerous lesions have formed. "In pre-cancer, the cells may already be so damaged that supplements can't reverse the changes," he reasoned. "Or maybe it just doesn't work."

The results confirm the findings of the two recent prospective trials, which also found that vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium do not prevent prostate cancer. The results of these trials were published in the Jan. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Other recent studies have suggested that vitamins, B, C, D, E, folic acid and calcium taken alone, or in various combinations, aren't effective for cancer prevention.

"Single-agent interventions, even in combinations, may be an ineffective approach to primary prevention in average-risk populations," wrote Dr. Peter Gann, author of an accompanying Journal of the American Medical Association editorial.

However, one expert believes that while vitamins E and C may not prevent prostate tumors, soy might still prove to be of benefit.

"There is some evidence from laboratory and population studies that soy protein or its components might reduce risk of prostate cancer," said Eric Jacobs, strategic director for Pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society.

In this study, soy protein had no apparent effect on the development of prostate cancer among men who already had precursor lesions in the prostate, Jacobs noted. "However, it remains possible that soy could reduce risk of developing prostate cancer by inhibiting earlier stages of prostate cancer development, or that soy could reduce the risk of recurrence or disease spread in men with prostate cancer," he said.

Douglas MacKay is vice president for Scientific & Regulatory Affairs at the Center for Responsible Nutrition, which represents the supplements industry. He believes the role of supplements is complex and trying to find a pill that will prevent cancer is a hopeless task. However, supplements and a healthy lifestyle can both play a role in helping patients prevent or fight cancer, MacKay said.

"Soy isoflavones and other dietary supplements may help prevent the development of cancer," MacKay said. "Men should include these things as part of a healthy lifestyle and integrated approach to preventive medicine. However non-pharmacologic dietary preventions, whole foods, extracts and herbs' influence on the development of cancer is complex and may not be appropriately tested using a randomized clinical trial."

More information

For more information on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society .



SOURCES: Neil E. Fleshner, M.D., M.P.H., Clinical Studies Resource Centre Member, Ontario Cancer Institute, Love Chair in Prostate Cancer Prevention, University of Toronto, Canada; Eric Jacobs, Ph.D., strategic director, Pharmacoepidemiology, American Cancer Society; Douglas MacKay, N.D., vice president, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Center for Responsible Nutrition, Washington D.C.; April 26, 2009, presentation, American Urological Association annual meeting, Chicago

Last Updated: May 01, 2009

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