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Low blood levels of beta-carotene (vitamin A), gamma-tocopherol (vitamin E)
and vitamin C have been to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular
- vitamin A (beta-carotene) - a modest protective effect
for cardiovascular disease was found in most cohort studies (1). However there
has been no benefit demonstrated in large trials and cardiovascular mortality
may be increased (2)
- vitamin E - a large randomised controlled
trial of vitamin E in nearly 30,000 Finnish smokers found no benefit for the use
of vitamin E (3). Also the HOPE trial found no benefit for patients treated with
vitamin E (4)
- vitamin C - no large scale trials have
studied vitamin C supplementation alone
At present, there is insufficient
evidence for the use of antioxidants in the primary or secondary prevention of
cardiovascular disease (5)
- a systematic review and meta-analysis found
that antioxidant supplements for primary and secondary prevention did not decrease
- Lonn EM, Yusuf S. Is there a role
for antioxidant vitamins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease? An update
on epidemiological and clinical trials data. Can J Cardiol 1997;13: 957-65.
Egger M et al. Spurious precision? Meta - analysis of observational studies. BMJ
1998; 316: 140-4.
- The Alpha-Tocopheral Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention
Study Group. The effects of vitamin E and beta-carotene on the incidence of lung
cancer and other causes in male smokers. NEJM 1994;330: 1029-35.
G et al. Mortality in randomized trials of antioxidant supplements for primary
and secondary prevention: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2007 Feb
Last reviewed 04/2020