vitamins E and C and your cardiovascular health!
You would think that the exclamation point in the title reflects the great benefits of vitamins E and C in decreasing peoples’ risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke as well as dying from these events. But sure of enough no, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
The results of a randomized clinical trial (HD Sesso et al) first reported online on November 9 at the Journal of the American Medical Association show that in almost 15,000 men (all of whom were physicians), those taking vitamin E or vitamin C had no advantage in prevention of heart disease or strokes. Even more surprisingly, those taking vitamin E had an increased risk of hemorragic stroke.
It is important to point out that the subjects in this study were all either middle-aged or older men so no statement can be made in regards to women. Moreover, the doses of vitamin E (400 IU) and C (500 mg) aren’t terribly high and many individuals take higher daily doses of these vitamins, and often in combination.
Finally, I also think this highlights an important issue with regard to vitamins and dietary supplements. Many people (myself included) take vitamins and dietary supplements on a daily basis without any real evidence of benefit from ingesting these substances. And in fact, are we more likely exposing ourselves to side effects than any benefit? Something to think about…
keywords: vitamin E, vitamin C, heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular health, supplements