March 8, 2018

Selenium and vitamin E: allies or enemies of prostate cancer?

Selenium and vitamin E have long been thought to have protective effects when it comes to prostate cancer. An American research team has shown that selenium and vitamin E supplements, even at a low dosage, increase the risk of developing prostate cancer if taken when there is no proven deficiency.

The SELECT study

An earlier study, called the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), conducted on 35 000 men showed that taking selenium and vitamin E does not protect against prostate cancer.

Further research revealed that not only do dietary supplements not have a protective effect, taking large doses of selenium (200 mcg/day) and vitamin E (400 IU/day) significantly increases the risk of developing a more aggressive advanced prostate cancer.

Conclusion: Ask your doctor for advice

  • Avoid high doses of vitamin or mineral supplements because they can help increase the risk of prostate cancer. Instead of consuming supplements, try to meet your nutrient needs by eating healthy foods.
  • Note that it has not been shown that taking supplements containing antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E or selenium could offer protection against prostate cancer. In fact, vitamin E may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • The risks increase if you take vitamin E and selenium together when your body does not need it.

Not without medical supervision

We suggest that you do not take supplements unless you have medical supervision. Your doctor may prescribe supplements for you if he finds a deficiency, usually for vitamin D, or in the event of specific medical indications.

Take the time to visit each of our pages on this website, as well as our YouTube channel, in order to get familiar with the disease with our expert lectures, our section on available resources, the support that is offered to you.

Do you have any questions or concerns? Above all, do not hesitate. Contact us at 1 855 899-2873 to discuss with a nurse specializing in uro-oncology. It's simple and free, like all our services.

Pages of our site that might interest you
Want to know more? Just click on one of the links below.
Recognize the signs and symptoms
Prostate-related diseases

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Each week, we publish a blog article. Here are a few for you.
Prostate Cancer: Did You Say Zero Symptoms?
Top 5 Men's Health Risks
PSA Test: Yes, No, Maybe?

Sources and references
Prostate Cancer – Understand the Disease and Its Treatment
NIH-National Cancer Institute

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