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J Occup Environ Med. 2005 Oct;47(10):1026-35.

A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial evaluating the effects of vitamin E and selenium on arsenic-induced skin lesions in Bangladesh.

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Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.



We sought to determine whether supplementation of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), selenium (L-selenomethionine), or their combination improves arsenical skin lesions.


A 2 x 2 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial among 121 men and women chronically exposed to arsenic in drinking water was conducted in rural Bangladesh. Participants were randomized to one of four treatment arms: vitamin E, selenium, vitamin E and selenium (combination), or placebo and were treated for 6 months.


At baseline, the average skin lesion scores were 2.23, 2.26, and 2.63 and at follow-up, the average skin lesion scores went down to 2.00, 2.06, and 2.47 in those receiving vitamin E, selenium, and the combination, respectively.


Supplementation with vitamin E and selenium, either alone or in combination, slightly improved skin lesion status, although the improvement was not statistically significant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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