Vitamin E and heart disease

Alternative names
Heart disease and vitamin E


Eating foods rich in antioxidants (like vitamin E and vitamin C, carotenoids, and selenium) may lower your risk of heart disease. Such foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. According to studies, however, taking extra anti-oxidants in supplement (pill) form does NOT add any benefit.

The current recommendation by the American Heart Association, therefore, is to make sure you include these important nutrients in your diet, but not to take supplements. Working with a dietitian can help, especially since some foods rich in vitamin E and selenium are high in fat.

Antioxidants, like vitamin E, protect cells in the body from oxidation. Oxidation is a process that can lead to cell damage and may play an important role in atherosclerosis - the development of plaque in blood vessels that can lead to heart disease and stroke.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 8, 2012
by Brenda A. Kuper, M.D.

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