Vitamin E Useless in Fighting Heart Disease
Vitamin E Supplements Don't Reduce Heart Disease Risk
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.