Heartening News on Vitamin E

If you are a woman who doesn’t get enough vitamin E, you could increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Thu Aug 22, 2002

THURSDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthScoutNews) — If you are a woman who doesn’t get enough vitamin E, you could increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

A study in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that low vitamin E intake in middle-aged women is a risk factor for early atherosclerosis.

The study included 307 southern Italian women, average age 56, with no clinical history of cardiovascular disease. The women did not take any vitamin supplements containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C or E.

Their average daily intakes and plasma concentrations of antioxidants were assessed, using questionnaires and blood samples. They were also given ultrasound examinations of the carotid arteries and branches.

The researchers found that 66 percent of the women had atherosclerotic plaques at one or more sites in the carotid arteries. Women with the lowest vitamin E intake were more than twice as likely to have plaque in their carotid branches.

There was no connection between such plaque in the women’s carotid arteries or branches and their intake of vitamins A and C, the study found.

The women in the study reported their main sources of dietary vitamin E were legumes, vegetables and olive oil.

The study authors say only people with low intakes of vitamin E could benefit from increasing their intake of the vitamin. Before anyone alters their diet or takes antioxidant supplements, they need to assess their daily vitamin E intake with their doctor, the authors say.

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