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Vitamin E prevents Lung cancers??by: Orthomolecular Medicine News Service
News Media Virtually Silent on Positive Vitamin Research
Researchers at the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center have
found that taking more vitamin E substantially reduces lung cancer.
Their new study shows that people consuming the highest amounts of
vitamin E had the greatest benefit. When they compared persons taking
the most vitamin E with those taking the least, there was a 61%
reduction in lung cancer risk. (1)
Lung cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer on earth;
over 1.3 million people are diagnosed with it each year. With medical
treatment, survival rates are "consistently poor," says Cancer Research
UK. Lung cancer kills nearly 1.2 million per year. It accounts for 12%
of all cancers, but results in 18% of all cancer deaths. (2) Anything
that can reduce these dismal facts is important news . . .very
important. Yet the mainstream media have virtually ignored vitamin E's
important role as a cancer fighter.
A sixty-one percent reduction in lung cancer with vitamin E? How could the news media have missed this one?
The news media probably did not miss it: they simply did not
report it. They are biased. You can see for yourself what bias there
is. Try a "Google" search for any of the major newspapers or broadcast
media, using the name of the news organization along with the phrase
"vitamin E lung cancer." When you do, you will find that it will
quickly bring up previous items alleging that vitamin E might (somehow)
increase cancer risk. You will find little or nothing at all on how
vitamin E prevents cancer. Indeed, the bias is so strong that even a
qualified search for "increased vitamin E reduces lung cancer" will
still, and preferentially, bring up media coverage alleging that
vitamin E is harmful. Negative reporting sells newspapers and pulls in
viewing audiences. The old editors' adage must still be true: "If it
bleeds, it leads."
Here's more positive vitamin E cancer research that the media
"missed." A study in 2002 looked at patients with colon cancer "who
received a daily dose of 750 mg of vitamin E during a period of 2
weeks. Short-term supplementation with high doses of dietary vitamin E
leads to increased CD4:CD8 ratios and to enhanced capacity by their T
cells to produce the T helper 1 cytokines interleukin 2 and IFN-gamma.
In 10 of 12 patients, an increase of 10% or more (average, 22%) in the
number of T cells producing interleukin 2 was seen after 2 weeks of
vitamin E supplementation." The authors concluded that "dietary vitamin
E may be used to improve the immune functions in patients with advanced
cancer." That improvement was achieved in a mere two weeks merits
special attention. (3)
Was it on the news? Did you hear about how high doses of
vitamin E help cancer patients' immune systems in only two weeks? Why
not? Might the answer possibly have anything to do with money? One
cannot watch television or read a magazine or newspaper without it
being obvious that drug company cash is one of the media's very largest
sources of revenue. Given where their advertising income comes from, it
is hardly a big surprise that media reporting on vitamins is biased.
Well-publicized vitamin scares feed the pharmaceutical industry.
Successful reports of safe, inexpensive vitamin therapy do not.
One commentator has observed that pharmaceutical and other
"corporations marshal huge public relations efforts on behalf of their
agendas. In the United States the 170,000 public relations employees
whose job it is to manipulate news, public opinion and public policy in
the interests of their clients outnumber news reporters by 40,000." (4)
Another commentator wrote that "Janine Jackson of Fairness and Accuracy
in Reporting (FAIR), a news media watchdog group, told the American
Free Press that 60 percent of journalists surveyed by FAIR admitted
that advertisers 'try to change stories (and) there is an overwhelming
influence of corporations and advertisers' on broadcast and print news
Drug companies don't have any drug that can reduce lung cancer
risk by 61%. If they did, you would have heard all about it in their
advertisements. And it would be all over the news. Positive drug
studies get the headlines. Positive vitamin studies rarely do. This is
an enormous public health problem with enormous consequences. A cynic
might say that press and television coverage of a vitamin study tends
to be inversely proportionate to the study's clinical usefulness. Truly
valuable research does not scare people; it helps people get well. It
would be difficult to identify anything more helpful than actively
reporting the story when a vitamin is shown to reduce lung cancer by
The good news about how important high quantities of vitamin E
are in combating cancer is not arising out of nowhere. A US National
Library of Medicine MEDLINE search will bring up over 3,000 studies on
the subject, some dating back to 1946. By the early 1950s, research
clearly supported the use of vitamin E against cancer. (6) Before 1960,
vitamin E was shown to reduce the side effects of radiation cancer
treatment. (7) In reviewing vitamin E research, one notes that the
high-dose studies got the best results.
Vitamin E is not the sure cure for cancer. It is not certain
prevention, either. Stopping cigarette smoking is essential. But
vitamin E is part of the solution, and we need more of it. An
independent panel of physicians and researchers (8) has recently called
for increasing the daily recommended intake for vitamin E to 200 IU.
The present US RDA/DRI is a mere 15-20 IU/day.