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Selenium, Vitamin E Supplements May Up Prostate Cancer Risk

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Could there be another reason to avoid supplement pills? Results from the ongoing study known as the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) finds that, among men over the age of 55 who already have high levels of the mineral selenium in their bodies, taking selenium supplements in excess of recommended doses nearly doubled their risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer.

In men who had low levels of selenium, it was a different culprit: taking vitamin E supplements increased the risk of developing the same cancer.

In 2008, the SELECT trial showed that selenium and vitamin E supplements were not helpful against prostate cancer -- contrary to some expectations that they were -- and in 2011, further findings from this same trial suggested that vitamin E supplements increased prostate cancer risk.

This new study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is the latest in this chain of negative findings about selenium and vitamin E, and together with past findings may influence upcoming recommendations regarding these supplements.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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