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Vitamin E and smokers

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Higher baseline serum alpha-tocopherol concentrations are associated with "significantly lower" overall and cause-specific mortality in older male smokers, a study in the November American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds. "The optimum relative reduction in mortality occurred at alpha-tocopherol levels of 13-14 mg/L," Margaret Wright, Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, et al., write. However, an accompanying editorial by the Linus Pauling Institute's Maret Traber points out it is not known how much vitamin E must be consumed to reach the needed concentration of serum alpha-tocopherol. Wright et al. conducted a cohort study of 29,092 Finnish men who smoke and who had participated in the 1994 Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study. The 1994 study showed no statistically significant reduction in lung cancer for smokers taking alpha-tocopherol - the most biologically active and the most prominent of the eight isomers within vitamin E - and found smokers taking high doses of beta carotene had a higher incidence of lung cancer (1"The Tan Sheet" April 18, 1994, p. 1)...

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