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Title: Effects of long-term alpha-tocopherol supplementation on serum hormones in older men.
Authors: Hartman TJ,  Dorgan JF,  Woodson K,  Virtamo J,  Tangrea JA,  Heinonen OP,  Taylor PR,  Barrett MJ,  Albanes D
Journal: Prostate
Date: 2001 Jan 1
Branches: MEB, GEB
PubMed ID: 11170129
PMC ID: not available
Abstract: BACKGROUND: alpha-tocopherol supplementation significantly reduced risk of prostate cancer in the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study. Sex hormones are thought to be involved in the etiology of prostate cancer. We examined whether long-term supplementation with alpha-tocopherol modified serum hormone levels. METHODS: Men who were cancer-free consumed > or = 90% of the study capsules, and who had both baseline and follow-up blood available, were eligible for the study. One hundred men who received alpha-tocopherol were matched on age, study center, and length of time between blood draws to 100 men who received a placebo. Multivariate linear regression models which allowed for a separate intercept for each matched pair were used to evaluate the effect of alpha-tocopherol supplementation on follow-up hormone concentrations. RESULTS: Compared to men who received a placebo, we found significantly lower serum androstenedione (P = 0.04) and testosterone (P = 0.04) concentrations among men who received alpha-tocopherol, after controlling for baseline hormone level, follow-up serum cholesterol concentration, body mass index, smoking, and fasting time. Geometric mean (95% confidence interval; CI) androstenedione concentration among men who received alpha-tocopherol was 145 ng/dl (CI, 137-153) after adjusting for covariates, compared to 158 ng/dl (CI, 148-167) among men who received a placebo. Mean testosterone concentrations for men who received alpha-tocopherol and placebo were 539 (CI, 517-562) and 573 (CI, 549-598) ng/dl, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that long-term alpha-tocopherol supplementation decreases serum androgen concentrations, and could have been one of the factors contributing to the observed reduction in incidence and mortality of prostate cancer in the alpha-tocopherol treatment group of the ATBC Study.