Vitamin E - beyond the antioxidant effects
07/08/03 - Vitamin E may be more important for its anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits than its antioxidant activity, suggest authors of a recent Harvard Medical School publication.
While evidence has failed to confirm the ability of antioxidant vitamins to reduce cardiovascular disease and risk of heart attack, vitamin E could promote heart health through other properties, notes the report, 'The Benefits and Risks of Vitamins and Minerals: What You Need to Know'.
Vitamin E can inhibit inflammation and also has the ability to produce muscle cells, both of which help prevent narrowing of blood vessels and therefore have a preventative effect on people at risk of heart attack.
A study published in Circulation earlier this year demonstrated the role of vitamin E in the slowing down of atherosclerosis.
The report, which claims that two out of five Americans take a vitamin or mineral supplement regularly, considers how much evidence there is to prove the benefits of vitamins and their value as a supplement to the diet.
The publication also reported on vitamin E's role as one of four fat-soluble vitamins, along with vitamin A, D and K, which keep cells healthy and benefit the eyes, skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. "Without vitamin E, your body would have difficulty absorbing and storing vitamin A," which keeps cells healthy and protects vision, it said.
The report is prepared by the editors of the Harvard Health Letter and Dr Meir J. Stampfer, professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. It includes a chart listing the recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals and details on antioxidants, fish oil, and phytochemicals.
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Created: Tuesday July 8, 2003 11:01pm