Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men
The present study was conducted to evaluate the influence of various micronutrients on the risk of coronary heart disease in men. For this purpose, the researchers collected data from 40,000 health professionals using nutrition-related questionnaires. At the beginning of the study, none of the participants suffered from coronary heart disease or diabetes, and cholesterol levels were within the normal range. The study found that participants who received higher amounts of vitamin E in the diet had a lower risk of suffering from coronary heart disease in the course of the 4-year investigation period. The authors concluded that a high intake of vitamin E can protect men against coronary heart disease.
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.
Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Ascherio A, Giovannucci E, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. N Engl J Med. 1993 May 20;328(20):1450-6.