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Heart disease and vitamin E

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Vitamin E and heart disease
Vitamin E and heart disease

Alternative Names    Return to top

Vitamin E and heart disease; Tocopherol and heart disease

Information    Return to top

Antioxidants such as vitamin E (also called tocopherol) protect cells in the body from oxidation. Oxidation is a process that leads to cell damage. It may play an important role in atherosclerosis -- the development of plaque in blood vessels that can cause heart disease and stroke.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants (like vitamin E and vitamin C, carotenoids, and selenium) may lower your risk of heart disease. Such foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. According to studies, however, taking extra anti-oxidant pills is probably NOT beneficial.

The current recommendation by the American Heart Association is to make sure you include these important nutrients in your diet, but not to take supplements. Because foods rich in vitamin E and selenium are high in fat, you may want to work with a dietitian to find the best food sources for you.

Update Date: 11/6/2006

Updated by: Glenn Gandelman, MD, MPH, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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