A new study has revealed that higher intake of Vitamin E supplements do not protect against lung cancer, and may in fact increase the risk of developing it.
The study conducted over a group of 77,126 men and women between 50 and 76 years of age showed that increasing intake of supplemental vitamin E was associated with a slightly increased risk of lung cancer.
The team led by Dr Christopher G. Slatore of the University of Washington, in Seattle, determined the rate at which the lung cancer developed over four years, with respect to their present and past vitamin usage, smoking, and other demographic and medical characteristics. Around 521 people were found to develop lung cancer.
The findings revealed slight but significant association between use of supplemental vitamin E and lung cancer.
"Our study of supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate did not show any evidence for a decreased risk of lung cancer," said Slatore.
"Indeed, increasing intake of supplemental vitamin E was associated with a slightly increased risk of lung cancer," he added.
The researchers also found that the increased risk was equivalent to a seven percent rise for every 100 mg/day.
"This risk translates into a 28 percent increased risk of lung cancer at a dose of 400 mg/day for ten years," he said.
According to Dr Tim Byers, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, World Cancer Research Fund and the American Cancer Society's recommendations of two servings of fruit each day would likely lead to a reduced risk for lung cancer, as well as reduced risk of several other cancers and cardiovascular disease.
The findings were published in the first issue for March of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.