Two separate studies bring information regarding the relationship between vitamin supplements and the prostate.

In one trial involving 35,533 men from 427 study sites, dietary supplementation with vitamin E significantly increased the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men. Overall, 17% more cases of prostate cancer developed among men who took 400 IU of vitamin E per day during a seven year period than among men who took a placebo.

In the other study, saw palmetto was found to be no more effective than placebo in reducing urinary symptoms in men suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), despite the fact that saw palmetto fruit extracts have become widely used for this purpose.

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Investigators randomized 369 men aged 45 years and older, with a peak urine flow rate of at least 4 mL/second, to one, two, and then three 320-mg daily doses of saw palmetto extract or placebo, with the dose increases occurring at 24 and 48 weeks.

Between baseline and 72 weeks, mean American Urological Association Symptom Index scores fell from 14.42 to 12.22 points with saw palmetto extract, compared with a drop from 14.69 to 11.70 points with placebo.

Barry MJ et al. JAMA. 2011;306:1344-1351.

Klein EA et al. JAMA. 2011;306:1549-1546.