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Vitamin C and Vitamin E Reduced Post-Heart Attack Deaths in Diabetics

Posted Oct 02 2008 10:17pm
An interesting new study published in the journal Cardiology reported that giving vitamin C and vitamin E to diabetic patients who had recently had a heart attack significantly reduced their mortality during the thirty days after their attack.

The study was part of the MIVIT (Myocardial Infarction and Vitamins) study, a clinical trial designed to determine the safety and outcome of vitamins C and E in patients who have had a heart attack. Diabetic and non-diabetic heart attack patients were given intravenous infusions of 1000 mg of vitamin C, followed by a 3x daily oral administration of vitamin C (400 mg of vitamin E 200 mg). A control group was given a placebo.

Over the next thirty days, there was no significant difference in the death rate of the non-diabetic patients and the placebo group, but there was a huge difference in the death rate among the diabetics. Diabetic heart attack patients receiving the vitamins were a whopping 68% less likely to die!

One reason for the dramatic effect on diabetics may have to do with the enormous amount of oxidative stress and damage that happens in the bodies of diabetics.

Oxidative stress- or free radical damage- is an important part of the damage wrecked by diabetes. These free radicals damage arteries and increase the risk of complications and heart disease.

And elevated blood sugar significantly raises the levels of these free radicals, adding to the damage. (Yet another reason a low-sugar diet is such a good idea- but I digress.)

Vitamin C has been shown to increase blood flow and decrease inflammation in patients with both diabetes and coronary artery disease, and vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant.

Any vitamin, mineral, phytochemical, phenol, flavonoid, or any other member of the nutrient kingdom that helps fight oxidative stress and lower inflammation is a good thing, whether you're a diabetic or not. But diabetics and people with elevated blood sugar may have an even greater need for powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
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