ANCHOR LEAD: ONCE AGAIN, CAREFUL STUDY OF SPECIFIC VITAMINS REVEALS NO BENEFIT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
If you’re taking vitamin C, E, or beta carotene to help your heart, think again. The most recent data conclude that these vitamins don’t benefit women at high risk for developing heart disease. Rick Lange, chief of clinical cardiology at Johns Hopkins, explains the study.
LANGE: They examined three different antioxidants, either singly or in combination, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene. It’s thought for a long time that a lot of the injury that occurs following a heart attack, or the injury or the inflammation in an artery, or a stroke, is actually related to the production of oxidants, and that using antioxidants can prevent this disease. We’ve talked before that vitamin E doesn’t seem to be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease, and beta carotene hasn’t been useful, and in this study it’s the first to show that vitamin C, at least in women at high risk, wasn’t beneficial either. :31
Lange says steps known to be beneficial include exercise, weight and blood pressure control, and perhaps use of statins to keep cholesterol in range. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.