Vitamin E Supplementation Is Ineffective in Some Cases

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By: Jan Chait

A recent study conducted as part of the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial found that vitamin E supplementation had no effect on cardiovascular disease, other coronary risk factors, or kidney disease in middle-aged and elderly people with diabetes.

The multinational study involved 3,654 subjects in the United States, Canada and Germany. All participants were older than 55 and had cardiovascular disease or diabetes with at least one additional coronary risk factor.

Each subject was randomly assigned to take 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E, 10 mg of the ACE inhibitor Altace (ramipril) or their respective placebos and followed for an average of 4.5 years.

The researchers found that a daily supplement of 400 IU of vitamin E had a “neutral effect” on the primary outcomes studied in the trial—heart attack, stroke or death resulting from cardiovascular disease—as well as on other outcomes measured, such as total mortality, hospitalizations for unstable angina or heart surgery and kidney disease.

Diabetes Care, November 2002

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