Antioxidants Don’t Lower Heart Risk
Study Examines Vitamins C, E, Beta-Carotene for Preventing Heart Attack, Stroke
Healthy Diet Lowers Risk
While the intervention studies examining antioxidant supplements for
protection against heart attacks and strokes have proven disappointing, study
after study has also shown that eating a nutrient-rich diet can lower risk,
says Lichtenstein, who is a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association.
“Isolating individual components of a healthy diet hasn’t worked, but it
does appear that a diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole
grains is protective,” she says.
Study co-author JoAnn Manson, MD, who is chief of preventive medicine at
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, agrees.
“This research underscores the importance of focusing on proven methods for
preventing cardiovascular disease, including physical activity, healthy diet,
controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol, maintaining healthy
weight, and avoiding tobacco,” she says in a news release.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a supplement industry trade
group, states in an email to WebMD that this study contradicts several recent
studies of antioxidant supplements, which showed that antioxidants and vitamin
E may adversely affect mortality.
This study showed that there was no overall effect on mortality, the CRN
"This study is an interesting addition to the current scientific
literature, and more research should be done, particularly to detect the
effects of antioxidants on longer latency diseases, such as cardiovascular
disease and cancer,” Andrew Shao, PhD, vice president of scientific and
regulatory affairs for the CRN, says in the email.