Vitamin E and Heart disease:

Coronary artery disease is the term used to describe the gradual narrowing of the coronary arteries. The narrowing is caused by the building up of fatty deposits (atheroma) within the inner lining of the coronary arteries The atheroma contains cholesterol which undergoes oxidation before it deposits itself within the lining of the artery. Vitamins can prevent this oxidation as they contain antioxidants.
Role of Vitamin E in prevention:
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. It exists in eight different forms. Each form has its own biological activity, which is the measure of potency or functional use in the body. Alpha-tocopherol is the most active form of Vitamin E in our bodies. Alpha-tocopherol is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants such as vitamin E act to protect cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are potentially damaging by-products of energy metabolism. Free radicals can damage cells and may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It is seen in many studies that Vitamin E reduces risk of cancer and heart disease. Vitamin E has also been shown to play a role in immune function, in DNA repair, and other metabolic processes.
Source of Vitamin E:
Vitamin E can be found in vegetable oils, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.
Recommended Dosage:
Studies have shown that a supplement of more than 400 IU Vitamin E did not prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer. In fact this dosage may cause harm. It is recommended that taking 200 IU or less may offer benefit. Vitamin E given in combination with vitamin C and beta-carotene daily, to high risk persons may be beneficial. American Heart Foundation (AHA) advises against taking supplements of any antioxidant vitamin (Vitamin E, C or beta-carotene) to reduce heart disease risk, instead, it encourages getting these vitamins from a healthy diet.
Deficiency of Vitamin E:
Vitamin E deficiency is usually characterized by neurological problems associated with nerve degeneration in hands and feet. It can manifest as loss of sensation, tingling or numbness in hand and feet. These symptoms are also associated with other medical conditions. It is advisable that seek medical help before attempting to take Vitamin E supplements.
Do not exceed 1,500 IU per day because Vitamin E can act as an anticoagulant and increase the risk of bleeding problems.

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Heart Disease
© 2006