It has been suggested that vitamin E, a naturally occurring fat-soluble antioxidant, can be used to treat and prevent cardiovascular (CV) events. However, the promising findings from observational epidemiological research linking higher vitamin E food intake with a decreased risk of CV events have not been confirmed in randomised controlled clinical trials evaluating the influence of vitamin E on CV outcomes.
Medical consensus has swung to the side that says high-dose vitamin E supplements aren’t useful for treating or preventing cardiovascular disease, but new information is emerging that pinpoints a specific group of people who could benefit from this therapy: those who have diabetes mellitus and the haptoglobin genotype 2-2.
Research and Clinical Evidence on Vitamin E
This article summarises the research and clinical evidence on vitamin E’s impact on CV outcomes, emphasising the necessity of careful patient selection for optimal therapeutic effectiveness.
Vitamin E is the most popular vitamin supplemented for cardiovascular health, with one recent poll estimating that 40% of the U.S. population uses them weekly1. The results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 37% of adults took vitamin E supplements (2,3). 11.3 percent of these people had vitamin E intakes of 400 IU or greater on a daily basis.
Furthermore, those having a history of cardiovascular illness, angina pectoris, stroke, or diabetes were more likely to consume large dosages of vitamin E than those without a history of these conditions.
The Antioxidant Properties of Alpha-Tocopherol
the most active form of vitamin E in humans, have long led to its use as a preventative therapy for cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E has been shown to inhibit protein kinase C activation, platelet adhesion and aggregation, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and atherosclerotic lesions in animal models. As an added bonus, vitamin E therapy has been proven to improve endothelial function in human studies.
Vitamins, minerals, and other chemicals found in diet are all examples of antioxidants. Antioxidants have been linked to illness prevention because of their ability to neutralise free radicals. When you breathe or expose yourself to pollutants like cigarette smoke, you create free radicals. If the body doesn’t have enough antioxidants, free radicals can damage cells all throughout.
As a result of this damage to cells, cholesterol can become oxidised, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. By adding oxygen to low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol), oxidation contributes to the development of fatty plaque on artery walls (atherosclerosis), which can eventually reduce or halt blood flow to the heart.
Large-scale randomised trials in secondary and primary prevention are needed to answer this question. Because vitamin E doesn’t seem to have any harmful effects, even at very high doses, studies like the Women’s Health Study have been set up to investigate its effects. Waiting for the findings of these studies is warranted before making any recommendations for public policy about the widespread usage of vitamin E.