ITHACA, New York, May 23 /PRNewswire/ via NewsEdge Corporation –

More cardiologists take Vitamin E supplements to protect their hearts than any other “common antioxidant vitamin,” a special report by Cornell University’s Weill Medical College says.

“More cardiologists take antioxidant supplements than take aspirin as a preventive measure against heart attacks,” the Cornell publication noted, citing a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

“Among l8l doctors surveyed, 44 percent take Vitamin E, Vitamin C or beta- carotene (alone or in combination) while 42 percent take aspirin. About 28 percent take both antioxidants and aspirin.

“Vitamin E was the most common antioxidant vitamin taken, most often at a daily dose of 400 IU (international units).”

The Cornell report, published by the medical college’s Center for Women’s Healthcare, said of Vitamin E and heart disease:

“The most well-documented benefit of Vitamin E is cardiovascular protection. As an antioxidant, it protects LDL cholesterol — the so-called bad cholesterol because it accumulates in arteries — from oxidation, which is the first step in a chain of reactions that leads to the buildup of plaque on artery walls, a process called atherosclerosis.

“Although LDL cholesterol is bad enough on its own, it is even more likely to clog arteries if it becomes oxidized by free radicals. Vitamin E also halts excessive muscle-cell formation in damaged arteries and keeps blood clotting in check, both of which help prevent heart disease.”

The Cornell report also noted an eight-year study of almost 90,000 healthy women, the Nurses’ Health Study, that found those with the highest Vitamin E intake had a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease than those with the lowest intake, only about 3 international units daily.

Other studies have demonstrated similar findings, the Cornell report said. The Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study found that daily supplements of 400 or 800 international units of Vitamin E reduced heart attack risk by 50 percent among more than 2,000 patients with cardiovascular disease.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Cornell report said, found that among more than ll,000 elderly people, those who took Vitamin E had a lower risk of dying from heart disease — or from any cause — than those who didn’t supplement their diets with Vitamin E.