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Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Feb;73(2):219-24.

A controlled clinical trial of vitamin E supplementation in patients with congestive heart failure.

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Toronto Hospital, Ontario, Canada.



Oxidative stress is increased in patients with congestive heart failure and can contribute to the progressive deterioration observed in these patients. Increased oxidative stress is the result of either an increased production of free radicals or a depletion of endogenous antioxidants, such as vitamin E.


We aimed to determine whether vitamin E supplementation of patients with advanced heart failure would modify levels of oxidative stress, thereby preventing or delaying the deterioration associated with free radical injury.


Fifty-six outpatients with advanced heart failure (New York Heart Association functional class III or IV) were enrolled in a double-blind randomized controlled trial for 12 wk. At a baseline visit and at 2 follow-up visits, blood and breath samples were collected for the measurement of indexes of heart function and disease state, including malondialdehyde, isoprostanes, and breath pentane and ethane. Quality of life was also assessed at baseline and after 12 wk of treatment.


Vitamin E treatment significantly increased plasma concentrations of alpha-tocopherol in the treatment group but failed to significantly affect any other marker of oxidative stress or quality of life. In addition, concentrations of atrial natriuretic peptide (a humoral marker of ventricular dysfunction), neurohormonal-cytokine markers of prognosis, tumor necrosis factor, epinephrine, and norepinephrine were unchanged with treatment and were not significantly different from those in the control group.


Supplementation with vitamin E did not result in any significant improvements in prognostic or functional indexes of heart failure or in the quality of life of patients with advanced heart failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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