What is actually safe to take? Supplements areÂ constantly being advertised to help improve and maintain our health, but research suggests now that Vitamin E supplements may not be all that good for you….
The US study of 77,000 people found taking 400 milligrams per day long-term increased cancer risk by 28% – with smokers at particular risk.
It follows warnings about similar risks of excessive beta-carotene use.
The researchers followed people aged between 50 and 76 for four years and looked at their average daily use of vitamin C and folic acid, and vitamin E supplements.
Over the course of the study, 521 people developed lung cancer.
Smoking, family history and age all had unsurprisingly strong links to cancer risk.
And while neither vitamin C or folic acid use had any effect on lung cancer risk, vitamin E use did.
The researchers extrapolated their findings, and concluded that over a decade, there was an additional 7% increase in risk for every 100 milligrams taken per day.
Vitamin E is known to be an antioxidant – protecting cells from molecules called free radicals.
But the US researchers speculate that, in high doses, it may also act as a pro-oxidant – causing oxidation and therefore damage to cells.