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Q One question often asked by readers: How does one go about building a vitamin criteria? What influences forms and dosages?

When you discover the insights from research and the logic from asking the right questions, it begins to make sense. The best approach is to walk you through the process for a couple of examples. See what conclusions you would reach.


This micro-mineral nutrient is related to vitamin E in helping anti-oxidant actions. It forms part of Glutathione Peroxidase, one of three master detox enzymes in cells. A link to lowering prostate cancer risk was discovered from early studies. So a large study (SELECT) of vitamin E and Selenium to test this association of prostate help was started in 2004. It was going to run for 8 years but was stopped early.

Selenium studies leading up to SELECT had shown associations to lower cancer rates, reduced heart disease, reduction of diabetes rates, and even rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium may prevent or slow down tumor growth such as of the prostate by enhancing immune systems and stopping blood vessel growth into the tumor. It has also been reported to have heart disease links through anti-oxidant actions on preventing free radical damage.

Here are the forms of selenium available supplements: inorganic forms sodium selenite and sodium selenate, and organic forms Selenocysteine, Methylselenocysteine, selenomethionine, and Selenium Yeast.

The SELECT study was the next logical step to scientifically show selenium benefits. At the mid-point of the study, an analysis was conducted to verify direction of the study. The results were startling. Not only was there NOT a benefit, there was slightly elevated prostate cancer levels in the vitamin E only group and another group just taking selenium showed a little more diabetes cases. Even though these slight increases were not significant using scientific principles, within the margins for error in study protocols, the study was stopped since there were no benefits.

Checking pubmed resources for an association between selenium to diabetes, a small animal study that was found that also showed this connection. The rational offered by the author of this study from further exploration was that selenium was working too well. It turns out that the selenium intake levels were elevating the related production of Glutathione Peroxidase to such an extent that it's anti-oxidant action was turning off a needed body produced radical necessary for initiating glucose insulin uptake by cells.

The effect of stopping this radical could lead to an increased rate of diabetes. Not only does this show that selenium was indeed working and performing it's functions, it was just working too effectively. There is a balance point for anti-oxidant actions that has failed to be included in scientific discussions up to this point.

Well, this is not entirely true. In China, studies found that if the amounts in the native diet were not taken into consideration before the selenium study, the results would be different for each region. Benefical in regions of low natural intake and adverse in regions where the natural levels of selenium were already elevated.

There is an optimum range for the micro-nutrient selenium to maximize beneficial actions. This is true for many nutrients. Why is it taking so long for scientists to discover this fact. Could it be that they already know this information and use certain testing methods to arrive at already known desired results? While one does not want to believe Scientists would jeopardize scientific principles and ethical conduct, this has already been observed in some vitamin studies plus also in weather scientists who manipulated statistics to show warming earth temperatures when the opposite was the truth.

SELECT Vitamin E Group Results 

Now, let's look at the vitamin E side of the SELECT study. Negative midway results showed the vitamin E group had slightly more prostate cancers. There is another study that told of these results before they were posted. This study revealed that to completely protect prostate tissues, two forms of the vitamin E family were involved. The SELECT study, like most studies before, used just the synthetic form of dl-alpha tocopherol acetate vitamin E. 
The gamma form of vitamin E is also used by prostate tissue.

It turns out there are two kinds of radicals that can attack and damage prostate tissue, one oxygen based and one nitrogen based. Alpha E only works against the oxygen. Gamma is needed to control nitrogen radicals. To add further insult, when mega dosages of just alpha E are taken, the levels of gamma E, naturally arriving with certain foods, measured circulating in the blood are reduced. This could be the result of a competitive interaction between the two forms. This high dose alpha only E also jeopardizes Vitamin K levels.

Again, there appears to be some failure of science to connect the dots some scientists are discovering. It could just be that only sensational rsults are fed by the mass-media to the general public. This generates a false impression of some study results. If one takes the time to find and listen to the discussions of merit between scientists after one of these reported emotional study results, a different perspective might be reached. Science is more a series of evolving theories rather than real hard facts. What is assumed a true fact today could be a fallacy tomorrow. That is the only true scientific reality.

Where are the scientific open minds today? One fact that closes the minds of many scientists is that Government and private grant money for continuing research is perpetuated by favorable study results, whether they be positive or negative. This may prove to be just too much for some scientists to balance morals and ethics against livelyhood.

Vitamin Criteria Principles

The vitamin criteria offered here considers the likely beneficial range for nutrients using scientific study results, human physiology, and a little common sense, to generate a factor called the precautionary principle.