Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Vitamin E Useless in Fighting Heart Disease

Vitamin E Supplements Don't Reduce Heart Disease Risk

WebMD Health News

July 28, 2004 -- Taking vitamin E supplements is of no use in the battle against heart disease, and relying on them may actually keep people from doing other things proven to help lower the risk of heart disease.

A new review of research on vitamin E in the treatment and prevention of heart disease shows vitamin E had no significant effect in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart-related death.

Researchers say observational studies showing that people who took high doses of vitamin E supplements reaped heart-healthy benefits have prompted as many as one in four Americans to take them.

However, this study, which looked at the data from seven large clinical studies, showed that six out of the seven major clinical trials have shown no proven benefits of vitamin E in reducing heart disease risks.

Evidence Lacking for Vitamin E

As an antioxidant, basic research has supported the notion that vitamin E supplementation may promote heart health by fighting damaging free radicals that are produced by the body and can lead to inflammation, which is linked to heart disease.

Although studies have shown that eating a diet rich in antioxidants may reduce the risk of heart disease, studies on antioxidant vitamin supplements, such as vitamin E, have produced conflicting results.

In this study, researchers reviewed seven large clinical trials involving more than 100,000 people on the effectiveness of vitamin E therapy in preventing or treating heart disease.

Researchers found six out of seven studies showed no significant effect of vitamin E on heart disease.

Overall, the studies showed that vitamin E had no effect on reducing the risk of nonfatal heart attack, stroke, or heart-related death.

The results show that benefits greater than a 6% reduction in risk for any major heart-related event are unlikely, "which virtually eliminates any important clinical or public health impact attributable to vitamin E supplementation."

Researchers say relying on vitamin E supplements without any proven benefits may actually keep people from adopting healthy lifestyles or using other therapies proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, such as aspirin, cholesterol-lowering statins, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors.

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure