In a long-term study of male physicians, vitamins C and E did not reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, according to a press release.
The authors of the study said that past research has suggested that vitamins E and C and other antioxidants reduce cardiovascular disease by preventing tissue damage.
In this study, the researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health and VA Boston Healthcare System, looked at the effects of vitamin C and vitamin E supplements on the risk of major cardiovascular disease events among 14,641 male physicians. The participating doctors were 50 years or older and at low risk for cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study in 1997, except for 754 who had prevalent cardiovascular disease.
The study was randomized and the participants received either 400 IU of vitamin C every other day or a placebo and 500 mg of vitamin C daily or a placebo.
Follow up eight years later showed a total of 511 heart attacks, 464 strokes, 509 cardiovascular deaths among the group.
The release says that there was no effect on the prevention of cardiovascular events, whether the men took the placebo or vitamin supplements. The authors write: "In this large, long-term trial of male physicians, neither vitamin E nor vitamin C supplementation reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events."
A Yahoo Health article reminds us that fruits and vegetables are rich in both vitamins C and E, and, the article says, it is well documented that people who eat plenty of plant foods have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other conditions.
The article quotes Dr. Howard Sesso, one of the researchers: "People should continue to focus on eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and controlling known risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease."
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