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Breast Health Tip #7: Vitamin E


BREAST HEALTH TIP #7: Vitamin E Consume foods high in vitamin E

Research shows women who regularly eat foods rich in vitamin E have a lower risk of breast cancer. These foods include avocados, almonds, sweet potatoes, leafy green vegetables, wheat germ, and salmon.

Scientists have found several explanations for why vitamin E is able to decrease your risk of breast cancer and improve your chances of surviving it if you have it. First, vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize oxygen free radicals, tiny unstable molecules of oxygen that can damage our DNA – damage that can lead to cancer. Vitamin E also slows down how fast tumor cells grow and divide, and promotes tumor cell death.

Vitamin E’s tumor fighting capabilities don’t stop there. It also prevents new blood vessels from growing into tumors. Without new blood vessels, tumor can’t get the necessary nutrients they need to grow bigger.

The best source of vitamin E is food rich in this protective nutrient. You can take vitamin E as a supplement — but, research shows you don’t absorb it from supplements as well as you do from food. If you do take a supplement, make sure it is made from a natural source of vitamin E rather than a synthetic form. Synthetic forms of vitamin E absorb so poorly, they won’t do you much good. The daily recommended dose of vitamin E is 400-800 international units. By the way, researchers have found that other antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin C and Coenzyme Q10, make the anti-cancer effects of vitamin E even stronger.

Christine Horner MD FACS Written by Christine Horner MD FACS