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Preventing Prostate Cancer

(NC)-It is increasingly recognized that diet plays a role in prostate cancer, a disease that affects one in eight men. For optimal health, it's important to exercise regularly and eat according to Canada's Food Guide, which recommends lots of fruits and vegetables, many of which contain the antioxidant selenium.

"Antioxidants help neutralize the influence of free-radical oxygen molecules which can cause cell damage that can lead to prostate cancer," said John Blanchard, President of the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada. "Our bodies need a diet rich in vitamins and minerals to help prevent the disease."

Recent studies suggest that selenium and vitamin E may reduce a man's risk of developing prostate cancer. One study showed that the incidence of prostate cancer was markedly lower in those who supplemented their diets with selenium, while another found that the occurrence of prostate cancer and the risk of death from prostate cancer was significantly less in those who supplemented their diet with vitamin E.

Because of these positive findings, a large study called the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) was recently launched to specifically determine whether selenium and vitamin E, individually and together, can help prevent prostate cancer.

Foods that contain selenium include seafood, meat, grains, and certain types of nuts. It is very difficult to get the recommended amount of vitamin E through diet alone, however it can be found in vegetable oil, nuts, whole grains and wheat germ. As it's not always easy to eat well, consider taking a daily multivitamin such as Centrum� to ensure an adequate intake of selenium and vitamin E on a regular basis.

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