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Vitamin E supplements may harm patients with head and neck cancer

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last updated: July 2005

In a randomized study published in the April 6 2005 issue of the Journal of National Cancer Institute, researchers found that patients receiving a daily supplementation of 400 IU of alpha - tocopherol during and after radiation therapy were at greater risk of developing a second primary cancer while receiving supplementation. In addition, the rate of recurrence of head and neck cancer was also higher during supplementation.

Editor's Note: This unexpected adverse result really cautions us from taking supplements to prevent or treat cancer. We all know the benefits of eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in promoting good health. On the contrary, high-dose supplements may not produce the same health-promoting effects we wish for.

Vitamin E is a type of antioxidant present in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body so do not avoid Vitamin E-rich foods based on the result of this study. Vitamin E is not present in foods in mega dose. It can be found in nuts & seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil and liver oil.

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