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Physicians' Health Study II Finds No Magic Bullet for Preventing Cardiovascular Disease
Date:11/9/2008

revent cardiovascular disease, but they should continue to take vitamins for the general health benefits they provide."

Statement by Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., consultant and past-president, CRN:

"This important study is another in a series of clinical trials that generally have failed to confirm hopes of identifying a strong preventive effect of vitamin E, vitamin C or other antioxidants in relation to cardiovascular disease. The trials were undertaken because of strong positive evidence from epidemiological studies, and the reasons for the different results in clinical trials remain to be clarified. Potentially relevant factors pointed out by the authors of this study include dose, duration, and combinations of nutrients.

With regard to the possible effect of vitamin E on increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, this has been a subject of discussion ever since the ATBC trial of male smokers in Finland reported such an effect in 1994 with a dose of only 50 IU of vitamin E. Such an effect was not seen in numerous other trials using higher levels of vitamin E (300 to 600 IU), but was observed in this study using 400 IU every other day (equivalent to 200 IU per day). The absence of such an effect in studies with higher doses raises the question whether this occurred by chance.

These results do not of course negate other evidence of benefits for vitamin E and vitamin C for other conditions, including immune function, mental acuity, and eye health. Consumers would be well advised to ensure adequate intakes of all essential nutrients through a good diet plus use of a multivitamin, and selected other nutrients including vitamins E and C, vitamin D, calcium, and EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids."

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement industry ingredient suppliers and manufacturers. CRN members voluntarily adhere to a code of ethics and manufac
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SOURCE Council for Responsible Nutrition
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