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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 31, 2014

Natural Vitamin E Prevents, Reverses Lung Cancer
Your "Pharmaphilic" Media Botches Another Story

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Jan 31, 2014) Yet another media hatchet job on vitamin E is, predictably, getting lots of attention. This particular attack is just one more in an embarrassingly long series. It is based on a recent study proclaiming that vitamin E promotes cancer. (Sayin et al. Antioxidants accelerate lung cancer progression in mice. Sci Transl Med 29 January 2014: 6: 221 )

Well, with a highfalutin' study like that, they might at least have used real vitamin E.

They didn't.

I have searched the original paper. They mention "vitamin E" over and over and over again. However, the words "d-alpha tocopherol," or "mixed natural tocopherols," do not appear in the paper, at all, except in one reference citation. Why? Because that is what natural vitamin E is called. If the researchers had taken the trouble to use natural vitamin E, it would likely have reduced cancer. For example:

  • Taking 300 IU of natural vitamin E per day reduces lung cancer by 61%. (Mahabir S, Schendel K, Dong YQ et al. Dietary alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols in lung cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2008 Sep 1;123(5):1173-80.)

Of Course Synthetic Vitamin E is Less Effective

With a careful search through a lot of jargon, you will discover that the negative study used DL-a-tocopheryl acetate, a synthetic pseudo-vitamin E. However, real "vitamin E" is actually eight different biochemical forms, alpha-, beta-, delta- and gamma tocopherols, and alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocotrienols. The much-touted "vitamin-E-causes-lung-cancer" study ignores this. I believe that the authors were so embarrassed that they selected synthetic vitamin E, which almost anyone knows to be inferior, that they quietly stated only once, in their entire paper, what kind of "E" they used. If I am wrong, let them prove otherwise. OMNS invites and will publish their rebuttal to this editorial.

And, the authors utterly ignored tocotrienols. Look for that word in their study condemning vitamin E. Look really hard. It is not there. The word tocotrienol does not appear in the paper. Not once.

Why? Because gamma tocotrienol is known to destroy cancer stem cells.

  • Research published in the International Journal of Cancer has shown that gamma-tocotrienol, a cofactor found in natural vitamin E preparations, actually kills prostate cancer stem cells. These are the very cells from which prostate cancer develops. They are or quickly become chemotherapy-resistant. And yet natural vitamin E complex contains the very thing to kill them. Mice given gamma-tocotrienol orally had an astonishing 75% decrease in tumor formation. (Sze Ue Luk1, Wei Ney Yap, Yung-Tuen Chiu et al. Gamma-tocotrienol as an effective agent in targeting prostate cancer stem cell-like population. International Journal of Cancer, 2011. Vol 128, No 9, p 2182-2191. )

Set Up to Fail

Synthetic vitamin E was selected. It did not work. Natural vitamin E was not used. Tocotrienols were not used. I challenge any scientist or journalist to try to explain these omissions away.

Based on USDA data ( ; scroll down to "Deficiency"), an astonishing 90% of Americans do not get the RDA of vitamin E.

Tell people not to take vitamin E, and they will be dropping like flies. The medical media should be ashamed of themselves.

To learn more about how vitamin E and other antioxidants fight cancer:

Vitamin E Attacked Again. Of Course. Because It Works.

Vitamin C Slows Cancer Down: And, Doctors Say, Can Reverse It as Well.

Antioxidants Prevent Cancer and Some May Even Cure It.

Vitamins Decrease Lung Cancer Risk by 50%

Vitamin E Prevents Lung Cancer: News Media Virtually Silent on Positive Vitamin Research

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Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Dean Elledge, D.D.S., M.S. (USA)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email: This is a comments-only address; OMNS is unable to respond to individual reader emails. However, readers are encouraged to write in with their viewpoints. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

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