Vitamin E Lutein and Zeaxananthin


Following a central retinal vein occlusion in 2019 I have impaired vision in my left eye - I was taking a supplement called Vite Eyes which contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin plus Zinc and Vitamins A , C and E .
A while back another member had posted a query about supplements and a reply by yourselves said categorically that Vitamin E should be avoided - which was something I had not heard before .
Firstly could you tell me why Vitamin E is not recommended ; secondly are you aware of any problems with Lutein and Zeaxanthin or Zinc ?
Since I read that Vitamin E should be avoided I’ve stopped taking the Vite Eyes but there is a supplement available that is just Lutein and Zeaxanthin and I was wondering if there are any contraindications or if it’s just a case of doing my own research - also where best to find that research .
I feel I would like to start taking Lutein and Zeaxanthin to protect my remaining sight if it’s not going to be an increased risk factor for BC recurrence .

Thank you

Hi JoannaN

Thank you for posting.

It’s understandable that you would like to know if its ok to continue the supplements you use for your eyesight.

There is much we don’t know about supplements and herbal remedies. Herbal treatments don’t have to comply with the same regulations or rigorous testing that conventional medicines do. For many products there is a lack of research to support their use, and some can interfere with conventional medicines including cancer treatments.

NICE guidelines recommend to not offer soy vitamin E to treat menopausal symptoms in women with breast cancer.

You can search this American website, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, for information about individual herbs and vitamins. You may find that that some herbs have different names in America. They have a section about Vitamin E and Lutein but not Zeaxananthin.

It’s important to speak to your treatment team, GP, or a pharmacist before taking any supplements. You may also find the World Cancer Research Fund Helpline useful.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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