Prostate cancer: Expert outlines 30 second risk checker
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Cancer details a condition in which cells in parts of your body start growing and replicating uncontrollably. The vitamin in question was found to boost the risk of prostate cancer, in particular. This type of cancer can be tricky as it usually develops slowly – without showing signs for many years. This diagnosis is considered to be “the most common cancer” in men, with more than 47,500 diagnosed yearly.
Supplements are being put under heavy scrutiny due to their side effects.
The main task of the little tablets is to protect against various diseases and boost your nutrient levels; however, some have been found to trigger problems instead.
Experts seem to be torn on whether the benefits they offer are worth the risks.
Some supplements have been singled out as risky, including vitamin E.
According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, vitamin E has been linked to prostate cancer.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with various roles, ranging from acting as an antioxidant to boosting immune function.
While this vitamin has protective abilities, some study results have brought conflicting evidence when it comes to high doses of this nutrient.
The study, linking it to cancer, looked at more than 35,000 men divided into four groups.
These participants were given either vitamin E, selenium, a placebo or a combination of these.
The study was later recommended to be discontinued due to the cancer risk findings.
Vitamin E was found to increase the risk of low-grade and high-grade prostate cancer in men with lower selenium levels by 63 and 46 percent respectively.
While selenium was found to boost the risk of high-grade cancer in men with higher selenium levels by a staggering 91 percent.
The study concluded that men should avoid taking vitamin E or selenium supplements at doses that exceed recommend intake.
The NHS explains that the recommend daily amount is set at four micrograms daily for men and three micrograms daily for women.
They explain that “you should be able to get all the vitamin E you need from your diet”.
The lead author of the study, Doctor Alan Kristal from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, concluded: “Men using these supplements should stop, period.
“Neither selenium nor vitamin E supplementation confers any known benefits, only risks.”
However, the health service states “there’s not enough evidence” to determine the effects of vitamin E supplements taken daily in high doses.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Although symptoms don’t tend to appear until the prostate is big enough to affect the urethra – the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis – they include:
- Increased need to pee
- Straining while you pee
- Feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied.
The health service stresses the importance of not ignoring these symptoms.
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