Are Your Vitamins Giving You Cancer?
May 3rd, 2015 by Holly Cornish
“If you take vitamin E, you’ll get prostate cancer.” So say reporters from CNN, the New York Times, Time magazine, USA Today, and NPR.
But they don’t have the whole story … do you?
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As usual, the media have picked up the press releases and headline claims of mainstream medicine without probing any deeper, much less talking to people with other viewpoints.
A group of scientists spent years researching the connection between vitamin E supplements and prostate cancer. They called the study the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial, or SELECT Study for short.
Their report prompted headlines like this one from MSNBC: “Some common vitamin supplements could increase death risk.”
Well don’t believe it … it’s a hoax.
The study behind the sensational headlines
The SELECT Study followed 32,000 men 50 years or older, living across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
Men who took 400 IU’s of vitamin E every day had a 17 percent greater risk of getting prostate cancer. This increased risk disappeared when the men stopped taking vitamin E.
But the study used synthetic vitamin E.
One vitamin, eight sub-types
There are actually eight types of natural vitamin E – four subtypes called tocopherols and four subtypes called tocotrienols.
Alpha-tocopherol is the most common form of vitamin E. It’s the type found in almost all vitamin E supplements, especially the cheap ones. But it’s also the least effective form.
In the early 1990’s, scientists made a wrong assumption. They assumed that because alpha-tocopherol was the most common form of E, it must be the most important. Wrong.
Gamma-tocopherol does a much better job fighting inflammation and protecting you from toxins like car fumes and cigarette smoke. It also protects against Alzheimer’s disease and – you guessed it – prostate cancer.
Gamma-tocopherol stops prostate cancer cells from reproducing. It also hunts down reactive nitrogen species, which can damage your proteins, lipids, and DNA.
Alpha-tocopherol does not.
To make matters worse, too much alpha-tocopherol reduces your gamma-tocopherol.
Two major oversights destined the SELECT Study for failure:
1. The men took alpha-tocopherol, which prevented them from absorbing the good, cancer fighting gamma-tocopherol
2. The men took the synthetic – or fake – form of alpha-tocopherol
Synthetic versus natural
It is well-known among natural health doctors that synthetic vitamins do not give you the benefits of natural full-spectrum vitamins. Natural alpha-tocopherol is not chemically identical to manufactured alpha-tocopherol.
Your body cannot use synthetic vitamin E the same say it uses natural vitamin E.
According to Mike Adams, founding editor of Natural News, synthetic vitamins are really just drugs with vitamin “names” on the label.
The Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and the United States Pharmacopoeia agree. They say natural vitamin E works 36 percent better than synthetic vitamin E.
But still, SELECT researchers used only one natural form and seven synthetic forms.
This means 87.5 percent of the vitamin E the men took as part of the study, was made from petroleum, turpentine, sugar, and artificial preservatives … not exactly a recipe for health.
Not the first vitamin hoax
Another study “proved” that vitamin A increased your risk of lung cancer.
Just like vitamin E, vitamin A also has multiple forms. Alpha-carotene prevents lung, stomach, cervix, breast, bladder, and mouth cancer cells from spreading.
But researchers used beta-carotene. To make matters worse, they used the synthetic version of beta-carotene.
As in the SELECT Study, this study also used a synthetic form of the wrong type of vitamin A.
Researchers apparently want you to believe that vitamin A increases your risk of lung cancer.
In reality, flooding your body with the wrong type of synthetic vitamin A may increase your risk of lung cancer.
Why all the bad research?
The SELECT Study researchers appear to have contrived the results to protect the financial interests of the cancer industry, which thrives by supplying very expensive toxic drugs, radiation, and surgery.
By taking vitamins and staying healthy, you cut their profits.
To accomplish these results, researchers not only used fake vitamin E in the wrong form. They also massaged the results.
Life Extension analyzed how the researchers changed the results and came to this conclusion: “If a woman was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and began ingesting 40 supplements daily, but died six months later, she would have been counted as being a heavy supplement user who died prematurely.”
Logic rejects this interpretation. SELECT researchers embraced it.
What they should have known
These are smart people, so they should have known this…
Molecular structure determines how your body uses vitamin E. And researchers have found that natural vitamin E assimilates far better than synthetic versions.
Your liver’s binding and transport proteins preferentially select the natural d-alpha form of vitamin E and ignore the rest.
In one study, Japanese researchers alternated giving natural and synthetic vitamin E to healthy young women. They found it took 300 mg of synthetic vitamin E to equal the blood levels of a 100-mg dose of natural vitamin E.
Another study found that subjects’ blood levels of natural vitamin E increased twice as much as the synthetic form, in healthy people and in pregnant women. In the umbilical cords, natural vitamin E levels were three times higher than synthetic levels.
But your blood is not vitamin E’s final destination. So the same study tracked vitamin E assimilation prior to elective surgery. Tissue takes longer than blood to absorb nutrients. But after 7 to 23 days, natural vitamin E levels rose more than synthetic levels.
Although the international unit (IU) was meant to equalize the differences between natural and synthetic vitamin E, studies show otherwise. And that’s why the National Academy of Sciences recognizes natural vitamin E as the standard by which to judge synthetics. That’s what your body is made to absorb and use.
Fix your diet first
“Even with totally irresponsible use, you would be hard pressed to be killed by your vitamins,” says Dr. Michael Long, a naturopathic doctor.
Still, the smart move is to try to get as many of your vitamins from your food as possible. Food gives you the best, most natural source and combination of vitamins. Including the ones we don’t even yet know exist.
In nature, vitamins exist with supporting antioxidants and nutrients. When you take vitamins isolated in capsules, you miss out on those, unless you’re taking food-based supplements.
For the best natural sources of vitamin E, eat:
• Sunflower seeds
• Swiss Chard
• Turnip greens
• Beet greens
• Mustard greens
• Wheat germ oil
Avoid food that’s fortified with vitamins and minerals. Fortified foods almost invariably use synthetic vitamins.
How to buy natural vitamin E
If you need additional vitamin E in your diet, be careful what you buy.
The FDA allows companies to lump natural and synthetic alpha-tocopherol together and label it “natural vitamin E.” So you may think you are buying 100% natural vitamin E when, in fact, as little as five percent of the product is natural vitamin E. If you’re not good at arithmetic, five percent means one part in twenty.
Make sure you buy real, 100% natural vitamin E.
Here’s what to look for on the label: Natural vitamin E is listed as d-alpha tocopherol, etc. Avoid dl-alpha-tocopherol, as it is synthetic. The “l” gives it away.
Double check that it includes all four tocopherols and all four tocotrienols. (If the supplement includes all eight forms, the label will list all eight forms.)
Between food and supplements, it’s recommended that women take 400 IUs a day and that men should take 600 IUs a day.
Finding natural vitamin E is well worth your effort.
With 300 IU’s a day of natural vitamin E, you will reduce your lung cancer risk by 61 percent, decrease your prostate tumor risk by 75 percent and prevent breast cancer cells from growing.
Finally, be wary of studies hyped by the mainstream press that “prove” vitamins cause cancer – or other ailments, for that matter.
Find out what type of supplement they studied. In most studies, it’s the synthetic form. After all, today’s media outlets are heavily supported by drug company ads. Big Pharma pays them mega-bucks to run the ads – and the drug companies often refuse to run ads in media outlets that don’t support their agenda.
That should give you pause before you believe everything you hear from them.
Our last issue talked about new tests that can detect cancer as much as ten years before the tests most doctors use. If you missed this important news, you can read it now just below this.