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121 THE CLINICAL FAILURE OF VITAMIN E TO PREVENT ATHEROSCLEROSIS: IS VITAMIN E SUPPRESSING ITSELF?
  1. A. D. Gutierrez1,
  2. D. Gonzalez de Serna1,
  3. I. Robinson1,
  4. D. S. Schade1
  1. 1University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM.

Abstract

Purpose Vitamin E alpha is the only form of vitamin E (Vit E) available as a supplement. Recent clinical trials have failed to demonstrate a beneficial effect of this supplement on atherosclerosis prevention. We tested the hypothesis that exogenous Vit E alpha supplementation suppresses the concentration of the potent endogenous antioxidant Vit E gamma.

Methods We performed a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in 12 type 2 diabetic subjects. Each subject participated in four study arms: placebo, low-dose (200 IU/d), medium-dose (400 IU/d ), and high-dose (800 IU/d ) vitamin E. Each vitamin dose was taken daily for 2 weeks. The protocol included an atherogenic high-fat meal. Primary outcomes were lipid standardized plasma levels of Vit E alpha and gamma. Secondary outcomes were surrogate markers of atherosclerosis (see table).

Table

Results (Means ± SEM)

The concentration of Vit E alpha demonstrated an appropriate dose response and did not alter any surrogate markers of oxidative stress, inflammation, or hypercoagulation. At all dosages, endogenous Vit E gamma was suppressed by Vit E alpha (by approximately 50%) (p < .0001).

Conclusion Supplementation of vitamin E in type 2 diabetic individuals did not alter any surrogate markers of atherosclerosis. The suppression by exogenous Vit E alpha of endogenous Vit E gamma reasonably explains Vit E alpha's ineffectiveness in atherosclerosis prevention.

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