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Form of Vitamin E Could Halt Some Cancers

                          A study has brought to fore that a particular form of Vitamin E found in many plant seeds - but not in most manufactured nutritional supplements - might halt the growth of prostate and lung cancer cells. Researchers have found that gamma-tocopherol, which occurs naturally in walnuts, pecans, sesame seeds, and in corn & sesame oils, inhibits the proliferation of lab-cultured human prostate and lung cancer cells. The Vitamin's presence interrupts synthesis of certain fatty molecules called sphingolipids, important components of cell membranes. However, the gamma-tocopherol leaves healthy human prostate cells unaffected, which could give it value as an anticancer agent. This could be wonderful news for cancer patients, if the effect can be reproduced in animal models. But because most nutritional supplements contain only alpha-tocopherol, a different form of Vitamin E that alone does not have these anticancer properties, it may be better to supplement the diet with mixed forms of Vitamin E. The study shows that the anticancer effect is enhanced when mixed forms are used "This is also a novel discovery" researchers maintain. "Although there have been prior indications that some form of Vitamin E may cause cell death in some mouse cell lines, we are the first to provide a mechanism for such an effect." Gamma-tocopherol, though rarely available in Vitamin pills, is nevertheless found in abundance in people's diet. Many nuts are rich in it, including walnuts and pecans, as are cooking oils such as corn & sesame oil.




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