“Oh great. What is it this time?”
That was the first thought I had when I turned on my TV the other night. I caught the very end of a medical report. And I was on the phone at the time, so I didn’t get all the specifics.
A doctor was talking about a vitamin E study. I heard the phrase “liver cancer.” Then the report was done.
“Riiiight,” I thought. “Now vitamin E causes liver cancer. Add it to the list!”
In recent years, researchers have cast E as a villain in study after study. E increases prostate cancer risk. E increases risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. E increases risk of asteroids landing in your yard. Yes, some are almost that silly.
It’s been easy to refute the results in every one of these poorly designed studies. I assumed this one would fall into that category.
But I was in for a surprise.
I opened my laptop and quickly found the new study. Turns out, vitamin E may PREVENT liver cancer.
Well! Now we’re talking!
But there’s something else going on here. And the benefits go way beyond liver cancer prevention.
Take this, not that
In the new study, researchers interviewed more than 132,000 subjects to determine the effect of vitamins on liver cancer risk. Over more than a decade, two important results emerged…
1) Subjects who had the highest E intake (via diet or supplements), significantly reduced liver cancer risk.
2) This preventive link was strong even among subjects with liver disease or a family history of liver cancer.
That’s outstanding. No question. It’s not a clinical study, so it’s not the last word. But we’ll take it, because these results expand on some very important research.
In previous studies, vitamin E helped maintain liver health. That’s no small thing in this age of toxic overload. But in one of those studies, E improved liver function in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). And that is huge!
As I’ve mentioned before, researchers call NAFLD a “silent epidemic.” There are no symptoms in the early stages. But as it progresses, patients develop sharply increased risk of type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, and heart disease.
With NAFLD on the rise worldwide, this is a perfect time to discover this new E benefit.
But a word of caution about E supplementation…
In most of the doom and gloom studies about vitamin E dangers, researchers used a synthetic form of the vitamin — “dl-alpha tocopherol.” And as Dr. Spreen has often advised, we should all avoid it. It can actually do more harm than good.
So if you’re new to vitamin E supplements, step one is to avoid “dl-alpha.” Step two: Look for “mixed tocopherols.” This full spectrum of tocopherols is your assurance that you’ll be getting the true E.
No doom. No gloom.
“Vitamin Intake and Liver Cancer Risk: A Report From Two Cohort Studies in China” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 104, No. 15, 7/17/12, jnci.oxfordjournals.org
“Vitamin E May Lower Liver Cancer Risk” Science Daily, 7/18/12, sciencedaily.com