Prophylaxis and treatment of prostate cancers by nutrition supplements: a clinician's view of facts and hope after the SELECT study - Abstract

The well-known Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) published in 2009 seems to show that prevention of prostate cancer by nutrition supplements is ineffective. Many opposing studies have found that various vitamins, minerals, and other over-the-counter (OTC) drugs show measurable effects in prostate cancer prevention and treatment. One purpose of the present review is to discuss some possible causes for the negative results in the SELECT study.

For example, it is possible that unknown intake of vitamin C influenced their results, because vitamin C alters the effect of selenium. A second purpose of this review is to present evidence from other literature that an effective prophylaxis of prostate carcinoma is possible. Protective evidence from the literature is shown for selenium, lycopene, lignane, vitamin D, and vitamin E; vitamin C and vitamin B are not protective. Supplement combinations are preferable to single agents. Other substances with preliminary data are discussed. In conclusion, there is substantial evidence in the literature that daily use of protective supplements can be beneficial, and that these benefits should not be dismissed based on a single study that did not control all of the baseline variables.

KEYWORDS: Prostate cancer; Vitamin D; Vitamin E; Selenium; Lignane; Lycopine; Nutrition supplementation

CORRESPONDENCE: Walter Merkle, MD, Department of Urology, German Diagnostic Clinic, Aukammallee 33, Wiesbaden, 65191, Germany ( ).

CITATION: UroToday Int J. 2010 Feb;3(1).