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Vitamin E & Potential “Offsetting” Cancer

Jaime Alnassim

Online Coaching | Strength & Conditioning

August 11, 2021

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For this I kept seeing good and bad, finally, I noticed that studies were talking about different forms of vitamin E. “Naturally occurring vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol)” (1). 

One of the first studies I saw was saying “several recent large-scale human trials with α-tocopherol, the most commonly recognized and used form of vitamin E, failed to show a cancer-preventive effect” (Yang 2012). However, within the same part, it also said, “Our recent results in animal models have shown the cancer-preventive activity of γ- and δ-tocopherols as well as a naturally occurring mixture of tocopherols, and the lack of cancer-preventive activity by α-tocopherol” (Yang 2012). 

“Initial research on vitamin E and cancer has focused on α-tocopherol (αT), but recent clinical studies on cancer-preventive effects of αT supplementation have shown disappointing results, which has led to doubts about the role of vitamin E, including different vitamin E forms, in cancer prevention. However, accumulating mechanistic and preclinical animal studies show that other forms of vitamin E, such as γ-tocopherol (γT), δ-tocopherol (δT), γ-tocotrienol (γTE), and δ-tocotrienol (δTE), have far superior cancer-preventive activities than does αT” (Jiang 2017).

The dates of the studies were 2012, then 2017. So I added 2021 to my google search of PubMed and found, “Vitamin E succinate (VES), a succinic acid ester of vitamin E, is one of the most effective anticancer compounds of the vitamin E family” (Liang 2021). Finally, vitamin E with smoking and no cancer yet (to offset), I would see taking it if you were low but not to offset anything with smoking. “Vitamin E (VE) might play beneficial role in human and animal respiratory conditions of various origin by stabilizing surfactant functions” (Xantus 2021). However, “The present review found evidence of neither harm nor any significant clinical improvement associated with the administration of VEA or any derivatives via any route in adult inflammatory lung conditions however, the articles were of low-level evidence. Further studies are needed to correct flaws in research to explore the role of Vitamin E in pulmonology” (Xantus 2021).

So, more information is needed but it could be worth taking within safe levels of vitamin E with the right form.


  1. “Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin e.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
  1. Jiang Q. Natural Forms of Vitamin E as Effective Agents for Cancer Prevention and Therapy. Adv Nutr. 2017 Nov 15;8(6):850-867. doi: 10.3945/an.117.016329. PMID: 29141970; PMCID: PMC5683003.
  1. Liang L, Qiu L. Vitamin E succinate with multiple functions: A versatile agent in nanomedicine-based cancer therapy and its delivery strategies. Int J Pharm. 2021 May 1;600:120457. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.120457. Epub 2021 Mar 4. PMID: 33676991.
  1. Yang CS, Suh N, Kong AN. Does vitamin E prevent or promote cancer? Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 May;5(5):701-5. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0045. Epub 2012 Apr 3. PMID: 22490437; PMCID: PMC3502042.
  1. Xantus G, Anna Gyarmathy V, Johnson CA, Sanghera P, Zavori L, Kanizsai PL. The role of vitamin E acetate (VEA) and its derivatives in the vaping associated lung injury: systematic review of evidence. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2021 Jan;51(1):15-23. doi: 10.1080/10408444.2020.1858754. Epub 2021 Jan 12. PMID: 33432848.

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