Evidence is mounting that humble little vitamin E plays a big role in keeping women safe from breast cancer. Several recent studies have shown it can inhibit the metabolism of cancer cells, leading to their death.
This is excellent news for women wanting to protect themselves against a diagnosis of breast cancer, for those now being treated for the disease, and for those who have had breast cancer and want to avoid a recurrence.
How does vitamin E wield such power? Scientists around the world have concluded that breast cancer involves special tumor initiating cells which not only initiate the disease, but also speed the development of metastasis, therapeutic resistance, and relapse. Vitamin E comes to the rescue by destabilizing the mitochondria in those special cells, and making it so they cannot carry on metabolism, leading to their death.
In other words, each cell of the human body has a tiny furnace in it, known as the mitochondria, in which fuel (food) is burned to give energy to that cell. What vitamin E does is block that process in cancer cells. Without fuel, a cancerous cell soon dies of starvation, no matter what stage it is in.
According to one of the research teams investigating this process, vitamin E can “not only induce apoptosis at higher concentrations but also block proliferation and suppress normal mitochondrial function and transcription at low, non-apoptogenic doses.”
But before you buy a bottle of vitamin E, know that all vitamin E is not targeted to perform this action in the mitochondria. The research teams investigating these actions are using vitamin E succinate, a natural tocopherol. This form has four methyl groups on the 6-chromanol nucleus.