Scientists discover an important way that vitamin E and its associated protein (called TAP) slows the growth of prostate cancer

November 10, 2005

Epidemiological studies suggest that vitamin E has a protective effect against prostate cancer. In this study, researchers at the Department of Urology at the University of Rochester have found that a protein called TAP (short for tocopherol-associated protein) - a protein that binds with vitamin E, promoted the entry of vitamin E into the cells of the prostate and improved the ability of vitamin E to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Even elevating the level of TAP on its own had a negative effect on prostate cancer cells, and both TAP and vitamin E fight prostate cancer in different ways. TAP levels were decreased in prostate cancer tissue samples but not in normal prostate tissue samples.

Previously one of the authors of the current study published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences illustrating that vitamin E interferes with two proteins that play key roles in the development of prostate cancer. The researchers found that vitamin E interferes with the ability of the prostate cancer cells to create PSA and it also inhibits the formation of androgen receptor sites, making it more difficult for androgens to fuel the growth of prostate cancer (a key strategy for fighting prostate cancer with drugs such as Lupron and Casodex is blocking androgens, and recently it has been found that PSA rather than being a benign blood marker for diagnosing prostate cancer may actually play a part in the worsening and spread of prostate cancer). The study is published in the November 1st, 2005 issue of the journal Cancer Research.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral supplement levels have shown protective activity in research.

Aronia Berry has strong ability to shield the liver from toxins and reduces liver damage

The liver is the primary organ for detoxifying chemicals and toxins. Carbon tetrachloride is a highly toxic solvent chemical used in the dry cleaning industry. Carbon tetrachloride is a known carcinogen (a known cause of cancer). In this study rats treated with carbon tetrachloride suffered with ballooning degeneration of liver cells, inflammatory infiltration of immune system cells around the central veins and fatty changes of the liver with death of liver cells. The liver enzymes ALT and AST also jumped. Giving an Aronia Berry preparation reduced the necrotic changes (death of liver cells), and inhibited an increase in liver enzymes (ALT and AST). Aronia Berry prevented a depletion in the protective enzyme Glutathione in the liver and decreased the production of damaging free radicals caused by carbon tetrachloride. The study appears in the December 2004 issue of the journal Experimental and Toxicological Pathology.