Vitamin E and colon cancer: Is there an association?

Martha L. Slattery, Sandra L. Edwards, Kristin Anderson, Bette Caan

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The role of vitamin E in the etiology and prevention of colon cancer is not clear. It is possible that various forms of vitamin E may act differently in colon tissue and may be effective chemopreventive agents. Previous reports of vitamin E and colon cancer have focused on α-tocopherol and have not considered other dietary forms of vitamin E. Data from a study of 1,993 cases and 2,410 controls were used to evaluate the associations between the four most common forms of dietary vitamin E and supplemental vitamin E and colon cancer. After adjusting for other health and life-style factors, we did not observe a statistically significant association between dietary tocopherols and colon cancer. There were, however, suggestions of an inverse association between total α-tocopherol equivalents and colon cancer among women diagnosed with colon cancer before the median age of the control population, 67 years [odds ratio (OR) = 0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.36-1.22] and a direct association between γ-tocopherol and colon cancer among these women (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 0.92-1.93). Women diagnosed with colon cancer when ≤67 years of age appeared to have some protection from use of vitamin E supplements (OR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.56-1.15). These data offer only limited support for a protective effect of vitamin E and colon cancer after adjustment for other health and life-style factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

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    Slattery, M. L., Edwards, S. L., Anderson, K., & Caan, B. (1998). Vitamin E and colon cancer: Is there an association? Nutrition and Cancer, 30(3), 201-206.