Vitamin E and other antioxidants protect against heart disease

Risk of Angina Pectoris and Plasma Concentrations of Vitamin A, C and E and Carotene

This population case-control study examined the relation between the risk of angina pectoris and plasma concentrations of vitamins A, C, and E and carotene. 110 patients between the age of 35 and 54 with angina were compared to 394 controls. The study found that high levels of vitamins C and E and carotene were associated with a reduced risk of angina. Vitamin E was found to have a beneficial effect in both smokers and non-smokers. The researchers suggested that antioxidants, particularly vitamin E, protect against heart disease. For further details, please refer to the study.
The underlying disease process of coronary artery disease (CAD) is called arteriosclerosis. This process starts with a weakening of the blood vessel walls, most frequently caused by an insufficient dietary intake of vitamins and other micronutrients. This leads to an underproduction of collagen and other reinforcement molecules in the artery walls and to the initiation of a repair process to compensate for the growing instability of the wall. The arteriosclerotic plaques that – with time – narrow the blood flow in the coronary arteries is essentially an overshooting repair process for the vitamin-deficient coronary artery wall. A heart attack occurs when the already narrowed artery is clogged and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to billions of heart muscle cells is interrupted. Angina pectoris. Angina pectoris is the typical alarm signal for an increased risk of heart attack. Angina pectoris typically manifests as a sharp pain in the middle of the chest, which frequently radiates into the left arm, but can also manifest itself in other (untypical) symptoms.
Riemersma RA, Wood DA, Macintyre CC, Elton RA, Gey KF, Oliver MF. Risk of angina pectoris and plasma concentrations of vitamins A, C, and E and carotene. Lancet. 1991 Jan 5;337(8732):1-5.

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