The Best Vitamin for Your Heart

Written by Dr. Jack Wolfson
Posted June 3, 2016

Vitamin E has been touted as a supplement critical to health.

There are amazing health benefits including decreased heart disease, dementia, cancer, and fracture risk.

Two groups of fat-soluble compounds, tocopherols and tocotrienols, and eight subtypes make up this important vitamin. Y-tocopherol (gamma) is the most commonly found form of vitamin E in foods such as nuts, seeds, olives, green veggies, and avocado.

Many oils are also loaded with vitamin E with my favorites being from almonds and walnuts.

As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E safeguards your body from free-radical damage and various chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease. Many population studies show that subjects with higher vitamin E levels have a lower risk of developing heart disease.

Inflammation is the fire in your body in response to infection or injury. Unfortunately, high levels of inflammation increase your heart attack and stroke risk.

Studies show that vitamin E’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties can reduce your risk for inflammatory diseases including heart disease. A large study suggested that postmenopausal women who eat vitamin-E-rich diets might reduce their risks of fatal strokes (1).

Get These Cardiovascular Benefits:

  • Improves vascular endothelial function (2)
  • Protects cell membranes from free-radical damage (3)
  • Has anticlotting properties (4)
  • Defends against oxidative damage that can cause heart disease (5)
  • Reduces CRP, a blood protein linked to heart disease (6)
  • May prevent atrial fibrillation (7)

A recent study showed that vitamin E supplementation reduced Alzheimer’s disease progression (8). Also, low levels of vitamin E are associated with an increased bone fracture risk (9).

Despite many positive conclusions, some studies show no health benefit from increasing vitamin E intake. One study showed that E reduces prostate cancer risk while another finds no effects. These mixed results likely are the result of using inferior, single form supplements instead of high-quality mixed versions.

To gain vitamin E’s full benefits, you need to ingest all eight of its health-enhancing compounds (alpha, beta, gamma and delta in tocopherol and tocotrienol groups). Compare labels carefully when you shop for a vitamin E supplement. Choose one that combines all or most types. A formula containing only alpha tocopherol may deplete your body’s supply of other healthy tocopherols and tocotrienols.

Find a brand of vitamin E without a capsule full of soybean oil. Rice bran oil would be my preference.

Enjoy these nutritious and delicious vitamin-E-rich foods:

  • Spinach
  • Green olives
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pine nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Dr. Jack Wolfson

Senior Editor, Clear Health Now

Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC is a board-certified cardiologist who believes bad nutrition and toxins create heart health problems. He prevents and treats cardiovascular disease with good nutrition, not medicines and treats the whole person, not just the symptoms.


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Sources:

1)     U Md Med Cntr. May 7, 2013
2)     Hypertension. 2014 Mar;63(3):459-67
3)     Free Radical Biology and Medicine 51(5): 1000-13
4)     Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 92(18): 8171–8175.
5)     Gerontology. 2012;58(1):62-9.
6)     Free Radical Biology and Medicine. Oct. 23, 2000
7)     J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Oct 15;62(16):1457-65.
8)     JAMA. 2014 Jan 1;311(1):33-44
9)     Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jan;99(1):107-14.

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