The available evidence indicates that γ-tocopherol has more potential for colon cancer prevention than α-tocopherol, but little is known about the effects of foods and supplements on tocopherol levels in human colon. This study randomized 120 subjects at increased colon cancer risk to either a Mediterranean or a Healthy Eating diet for 6 mo. Supplement use was reported by 39% of the subjects, and vitamin E intake from supplements was twofold higher than that from foods. Serum α-tocopherol at baseline was positively predicted by dietary intakes of synthetic vitamin E in foods and supplements but not by natural α-tocopherol from foods. For serum γ-tocopherol, dietary γ-tocopherol was not a predictor, but dietary α-tocopherol was a negative predictor. Unlike with serum, the data supported a role for metabolic factors, and not a direct effect of diet, in governing concentrations of both α- and γ-tocopherol in colon. The Mediterranean intervention increased intakes of natural α-tocopherol, which is high in nuts, and decreased intakes of γ-tocopherol, which is low in olive oil. These dietary changes had no significant effects on colon tocopherols. The impact of diet on colon tocopherols therefore appears to be limited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Cancer Research