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Would Vitamin Prevent Heart Disease?

Posted Jan 08 2009 3:03pm
Many studies have shown that vitamins such as Vitamin-C and Vitamin-E will help prevent heart disease. However, there is also research that highlighted the harmful side of vitamin.

Just like a nutrition scientist at MedStar Research Institute of Hyattsville, Maryland said, people should not just look at whether vitamin could help but should also worry about the potential harms vitamin will cause.

For instance, in a previous study, male smokers taking Vitamin-E had a high risk of bleeding strokes, while several other studies also found that Vitamin-E did not benefit heart health. Meanwhile, some research even suggested Vitamin-C might aid cancer instead of fighting it. A previous study on women at high risk of heart disease also indicated that Vitamin-C did not help prevent heart attack for these women.

In fact, a few long-term studies have been done to find out the effect of Vitamin on heart health. The latest one is co-called the “Physical Health Study” conducted by Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and several vitamin makers, commenced in 1997 that involved 14,641 male doctors aged 50 or older, with 5 percent of whom already had heart disease. These participants were divided into 4 groups and each given either Vitamin-C, Vitamin-E, both or dummy pills. The researchers prescribed 400 international units of Vitamin-E on every other day and 500 mg Vitamin-C on a daily basis.

After an average of 8 years, it was found that there was no difference in the rates of heart attack, stroke or heart-related deaths among the 4 groups. Nevertheless, there were 39 men in the group prescribed with Vitamin-E suffered bleeding strokes yet only 23 were found in other groups. In other word, there was a 74 percent greater risk of bleeding strokes for vitamin-takers.

Since the results were so clear, the researchers argued that they would be unlikely to change even if the study were done in women, minorities, or with different formulations of the vitamins. They even suggested people should save some money by stopping to buy these supplements.

Another study on Vitamin-B12 and Vitamin-B9 (folic acid) also found that these vitamins did not really prevent heart disease, which supported the results of the previous trials. The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Oxford in England, and it involved more than 12,000 heart attack survivors.
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