Researchers have discovered that vitamin E is still a knock-down, steadfast antioxidant that promotes women’s heart health. Antioxidants are the healthy phytonutrients in plants that seek out and neutralize harmful free radicals. Left unfettered, free radicals can damage DNA and lead to early aging.
Vitamin E Supports Heart Health for Women
In 1993 a Harvard Medical School study of about 87,000 healthy, female nurses, ages 34 to 59, concluded that those who took vitamin E supplements for more than two years had a 41% reduced risk of heart disease. The New England Journal of Medicine reported this study on May 20, 1993.
The intriguing Women’s Health Study reported in the July 2005 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), of approximately 40,000 healthy women, found that half the women given 600 IU of natural vitamin E supplements on alternate days for 10 years had a 24% decline in heart disease deaths.
Amazing Results for Women Over 65
The Women’s Health Study, the longest and largest study of vitamin E supplementation, found a 34% reduction in heart attacks for women over 65 who took the natural vitamin E supplements (alpha-tocopherol). That age group also had a striking 49% reduction in heart disease deaths compared to the placebo group.
Vitamin E Supplementation Bias
Incredibly, the researchers noted in JAMA did not recommend vitamin E supplements for healthy, older women. Maret Traber, Ph.D., a vitamin E expert at the Linus Pauling Institute, believes the study result is a significant one for older women over age 65 because heart disease is their number one cause of death. More examples of vitamin E bias (in the treatment of lung cancer) with both food and supplements, and selective media reporting, are here.
Vitamin E Food Choices
Most people do not get enough of this potent vitamin in their diet. Fortified cereals, almonds, sunflower seeds and leafy greens are top choices for vitamin E. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin E is 23 IU (about 15 mg) which is the minimum amount that avoids a deficiency. Many experts suggest a daily maintenance value – 400 IU. Most multivitamins contain varying amounts of vitamin E.
Women, Heart Health and Research
Research backs up vitamin E supplementation support for a 41% decreased risk of heart disease in presently-healthy, middle-aged and older women. Healthy women over 65 had a 34% less risk of heart attacks and a 49% lowered risk of heart disease deaths. The key point to a possible decreased risk of heart disease is to consider taking vitamin E supplements while still healthy. It is important to take charge of your own health, and determine the truth in an era of possible media manipulation and supplementation bias.
Vitamin E can act as a blood thinner; always seek the advice of your health care provider, especially if taking prescription drugs. This article is for educational purposes only.