Vitamin E is an important vitamin that our body needs to stay healthy. It comes in eight different types called isoforms, with names like alpha, beta, delta, and gamma-tocopherol, and alpha, beta, delta, and gamma-tocotrienol. Scientists have been studying how vitamin E might help fight cancer.

For a long time, scientists focused on one type of vitamin E called alpha-tocopherol and its ability to fight cancer. They did some big studies, like the SELECT and ATBC trials, but they didn’t find that alpha-tocopherol helped prevent cancer as they had hoped.

So, scientists started looking at other vitamin E types, like gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, and tocotrienol. They found that these types of vitamin E can do something that alpha-tocopherol can’t do: they can fight both reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. They also have unique ways of fighting cancer cells, like stopping the growth of new blood vessels that help tumours grow and stopping the production of enzymes that cancer cells need to grow.

Scientists have done some lab studies on animals and cells that suggest that these types of vitamin E might help fight cancer. However, there is still a lot we don’t know about how these types of vitamin E might work in people. Some studies have even suggested that taking too much vitamin E might increase the risk of certain cancers, like prostate cancer.

So, scientists need to do more research to find out how much of each type of vitamin E we need to take and whether they are safe and effective in preventing and treating cancer. It’s important to keep studying vitamin E to help us find new ways to fight cancer and keep our bodies healthy.




Abraham A, Kattoor AJ, Saldeen T, Mehta JL. Vitamin E and its anticancer effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(17):2831-2838. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1474169. Epub 2018 Oct 23. PMID: 29746786.