Vitamin E may reduce the risk of lung cancer for some women according to a new study. The Chinese research, published in the International Journal of Cancer and noted on foodconsumer.org, suggests that dietary intake of E has this effect while supplemental vitamin E does not.
Found in vegetable oils, vitamin E, or tocopherol, comes in two forms. The form found in corn oil, soybean oil and canola oil, called gammatocopherol, promotes inflammation, which alpha-tocopherol, found in olive oil and peanut oil, protects against lung disease.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, which followed 72,829 Chinese female nonsmokers between the ages of 40 to 70 for a dozen years. They found that total dietary tocopherol was inversely correlated with lung cancer risk among women who met dietary guidelines for adequate intake of tocopherol, compared with those who didn’t meet the guidelines.
Specifically, women who ate 14 mg of vitamin E every day or more were 22 percent less likely to develop lung cancer compared with those who didn’t have sufficient intake of dietary vitamin E.
On the other hand, supplemental vitamin E seemed to have the opposite effect. It was correlated with elevated lung cancer risk—by 33 percent.
Other recent research suggests the vitamin may help fight fatty liver disease.
“Vitamin E is vital to supporting human health, yet it is estimated that more than 90 percent of the population in the United States does not meet the dietary intake recommendations for vitamin E,” said professor Manfred Eggersdorfer, senior vice president of nutrition science and advocacy at DSM and professor for Healthy Aging at University Groningen, in a release about the research. “While the micronutrient is not currently high on the agenda of scientists and funding organizations, there is an urgent requirement for additional research to understand the benefits of vitamin E span beyond its well-known function as a fat soluble antioxidant.”