A Fresh Look at an Old Study

Study Specifics

A 1998 study involving almost 30,000 male smokers showed a 32% reduction in prostate cancer incidences as a result of taking the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E. In 2005, researchers took another look at data derived from 300 of the men in the study. They found that men with the highest blood levels of alpha-tocopherol were 50% less likely to develop prostate cancer than those with the lowest levels. Also, those with the highest levels of gammatocopherol were 43% less likely than those with the lowest levels to develop prostate cancer as well. The study confirmed a link between high tocopherol levels and low cancer rates with those taking vitamin E in supplement form.

The Takeaway

It's believed that fullspectrum vitamin E supplements—those containing alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocopherol—provide the greatest health benefits. The ideal supplement also contains tocotrienols, another significant component of the vitamin E family. Most importantly, be sure to stick with the natural form of vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) rather than a synthetic (dl-alpha tocopherol).