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Cancer Causes Control. 2008 Feb;19(1):75-87. Epub 2007 Oct 18.

Vitamin E and selenium supplementation and risk of prostate cancer in the Vitamins and lifestyle (VITAL) study cohort.

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  • 1Cancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.



Vitamin E and selenium are promising nutrients for the prevention of prostate cancer, and both are currently being tested in a large randomized trial for prostate cancer. However, results are not expected for at least 6 years. We aimed to investigate the association of vitamin E and selenium supplementation with prostate cancer in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study, a cohort study specifically designed to examine supplement use and future cancer risk.


In a prospective design, 35,242 men recruited between 2000 and 2002 from western Washington State completed a questionnaire, including detailed questions about vitamin E and selenium supplement intake during the past 10 years from brand-specific multivitamins and single supplements. Using linkage to the western Washington SEER cancer registry, we documented 830 new cases of prostate cancer from baseline through December 2004.


A 10-year average intake of supplemental vitamin E was not associated with a reduced prostate cancer risk overall [hazard ratio (HR) 0.86, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.65-1.1 for > or =400 IU/day vs. non-use, p for trend 0.36]; however, risk for advanced prostate cancer (regionally invasive or distant metastatic, n = 123) decreased significantly with greater intake of supplemental vitamin E (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.19-1.0 for 10-year average intake > or =400 IU/day vs. non-use, p for trend 0.03). There was no association between selenium supplementation and prostate cancer risk (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.62-1.3 for 10-year average intake >50 microg/day vs. non-use, p for trend 0.97).


In this prospective cohort, long-term supplemental intake of vitamin E and selenium were not associated with prostate cancer risk overall; however, risk of clinically relevant advanced disease was reduced with greater long-term vitamin E supplementation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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