ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
CANCER
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
CAREGIVING
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
The Food Irradiation Story
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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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