Vitamin E further girds ex-smokers

Vitamin E supplement further girds ex-smokers from heart disease

Vitamin E supplements of a certain sort can give ex-smokers an extra booth in their endeavors toward a healthier lifestyle, new research has found.

According to the study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut and beyond, the use of vitamin E in conjunction with smoking cessation can plummet a patient’s risk for cardiovascular disease by approximately 19 percent. Moreover, participants showed an increase in vascular function by an average of 2.8 percent after not smoking for seven days, and those who also took an amma-tocopherol form of vitamin E exhibited an additional 1.5 percent improvement. Previous studies have conveyed that an uptick of just 1 percent in vascular function can transpire into a 13 percent decrease in risk for heart disease later in life.

"This is a very short-term study that shows very promising effects," said Richard Bruno, associate professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University and senior author of the study, in a prepared statement."The underlying rationale is that we know it takes many years before the risk for cardiovascular disease of a former smoker matches that of a nonsmoker. We hope to develop a therapy to combine with smoking cessation that could accelerate the restoration of vascular function and reduce cardiovascular risk."

A subject pool of 20 smokers in their 20s who reported smoking at least a half pack a day for a year or more were observed by Bruno and the study team. While all participants ceased smoking, just 16 were given 500 milligrams daily of gamma-tocopherol, while the remaining 14 were administered a placebo. Vascular progress was measured via blood samples and ultra sound images of an artery in the upper arm after circulation was cut off in the appendage for five minutes.

"Greater dilatory response is an indicator of vascular health. People with a long history of smoking tend to have low vasodilatory responses," Bruno noted.

According to the report: “Participants who took the supplements showed greater improvements in vascular function and also had lower levels of two inflammation-related proteins in their blood than did participants who received a placebo.

The lower levels of those two proteins in the supplemented participants' blood suggest that the gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E restores vascular function at least in part by lowering inflammation.”

The gamma-tocopherol brand of vitamin E can be gained from numerous dietary sources such as soybean, canola and some other vegetable oils, and certain nuts such as pistachios, pecans, cashews and peanuts. Specialty supplement in certain retail outlets can be obtained as well.

The study was presented at the annual Experimental Biology meeting in Boston on April 23.