Heart Disease and Antioxidants

Antioxidants you get from eating certain foods are a big part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. You'll get plenty from fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, legumes, and nuts. You'll also get fiber and great taste. That's a win-win plan.

If you're thinking about taking supplements, keep in mind they don't offer the same benefits as the antioxidants you get from food.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says there's not enough evidence to show that multivitamins or mineral supplements can lower the odds of getting heart disease.

Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene Supplements

Research doesn't show that vitamin E supplements have benefits against heart disease. But there's also no evidence that they're risky. You can get the same vitamin in foods such as nuts, leafy greens, seed oils, and fortified cereals.

There's also no proof that beta-carotene supplements can fight heart disease. Some studies show that people who smoke or drink heavily and take beta-carotene supplements are actually more likely to get it.

The USPSTF recommends against taking beta-carotene or vitamin E supplements if your goal is to prevent heart disease.

Remember, the recommendation only applies to supplements. According to the USPSTF, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood is linked to a lower risk of heart disease. You can get beta-carotene from fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on August 07, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Vitamin and Mineral Supplements."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Beta Carotene."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Vitamin, Mineral, and Multivitamin Supplements for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer."

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