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Circulation. 2002 Sep 17;106(12):1453-9.

Alpha-tocopherol supplementation in healthy individuals reduces low-density lipoprotein oxidation but not atherosclerosis: the Vitamin E Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (VEAPS).

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Department of Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Calif, USA.



Epidemiological studies have demonstrated an inverse relationship between vitamin E intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. In contrast, randomized controlled trials have reported conflicting results as to whether vitamin E supplementation reduces atherosclerosis progression and CVD events.


The study population consisted of men and women > or =40 years old with an LDL cholesterol level > or =3.37 mmol/L (130 mg/dL) and no clinical signs or symptoms of CVD. Eligible participants were randomized to DL-alpha-tocopherol 400 IU per day or placebo and followed every 3 months for an average of 3 years. The primary trial end point was the rate of change in the common carotid artery far-wall intima-media thickness (IMT) assessed by computer image-processed B-mode ultrasonograms. A mixed effects model using all determinations of IMT was used to test the hypothesis of treatment differences in IMT change rates. Compared with placebo, alpha-tocopherol supplementation significantly raised plasma vitamin E levels (P<0.0001), reduced circulating oxidized LDL (P=0.03), and reduced LDL oxidative susceptibility (P<0.01). However, vitamin E supplementation did not reduce the progression of IMT over a 3-year period compared with subjects randomized to placebo.


The results are consistent with previous randomized controlled trials and extend the null results of vitamin E supplementation to the progression of IMT in healthy men and women at low risk for CVD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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