Originally published in December 2002 icon
As if life wasn't complicated enough already, researchers have discovered that some forms of Vitamin E protect against breast cancer. But not all forms!
Alpha tocopherol Vitamin E, (the form in most commercial preparations), seems to have no protective effect against breast cancer, but women who consume foods high in other forms of Vitamin E reduce their risk of contracting breast cancer by as much as 90%.
Breast cancer cells are highly proliferating and oestrogen makes matters worse. A natural form of Vitamin E (alpha tocopheryl succinate), found in some more expensive supplements has been shown in several studies to inhibit this proliferation in test tube studies.
Other forms of Vitamin E reduce the risk of contracting breast cancer by as much as 90%
A third form seems to have the most potential. Tocotrienols have been shown to inhibit oestrogen receptor positive breast cells by as much as 50%. This is reported as the Cover Story of America's Life Extension magazine.
Even better, tamoxifen can also reduce such proliferation by 50%; but when tocotrienols are added the dosage of tamoxifen required to produce the same result need only by 25% of original levels.
Experiments were in vitro, and with mice and a large number of studies showed the same effect.
Tocotrienols are oil soluble and should be taken with food. Palm oil was the source for most of the tests.
Human studies have shown that women taking 240mg for up to 16 months have no side effects. Tocotrienols appear to collect in breast tissue.
Further human studies were recommended, but this evidence was compelling.