SOURCE Foods for the Future
ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists at the University of Rochester believe they have discovered important clues on how Vitamin E helps prevent prostate cancer, the second-leading cause of death in men in the United States.
Researchers at the University of Rochester School of Medicine have determined that Vitamin E performs two protective actions -- by inhibiting one protein that attaches itself to the male hormone androgen, and also restricting another protein, prostate specific antigen, or PSA.
Androgen is known to contribute to growth of cancer cells. The role of PSA, which is widely used as a marker to indicate the presence of prostate cancer in males, is uncertain.
The new research is being reported as U.S. health officials are conducting a massive study looking at the use of both Vitamin E and the mineral selenium for helping prevent prostate cancer.
The University of Rochester project found, however, that while Vitamin E altered the two proteins, selenium didn't do so. Researchers said selenium might function in different ways than Vitamin E.
The Vitamin E finding has been reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and also in an article in the Los Angeles Times by writer Dianne Partie Lange, who reported:
"This finding could lead to advances in prostate cancer treatment as well as prevention. The scientists found that when alpha tocopherol succinate, a type of Vitamin E, was added to an androgen-blocking chemotherapy drug, the cancer cells grew more slowly than when the drug was used alone."