Research: STEINER, Division of H

Listed in Issue 28


STEINER, Division of Hematology/Oncology, East Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville NC 27858-4354, USA writes that vitamin E has emerged as a major factor in the prevention and inhibition of cardiovascular disease.




The inhibition of platelet function, particularly adhesion, is an important event in the development and propagation of cardiovascular disease which plays a critical role in the beneficial effect which vitamin E exerts upon heart disease. Best known for its antioxidant activity, vitamin E interferes with platelet adhesion via a mechanism independent of this action. Vitamin E-induced inhibition of protein kinase C leads to decreased platelet pseudopodia formation following stimulation by agonists, a process which is instrumental in the reduction of platelet adhesion. Together with potent inhibitors of platelet aggregation, vitamin E has become a widely applied treatment for this group of diseases. Increased bleeding, particularly when vitamin E is combined with a potent platelet aggregation inhibitor, has to be considered a side effect of its mechanism of action; however this does not detract from the potential benefits for the majority of patients taking this vitamin.



Steiner M. Vitamin E, a modifier of platelet function: rationale and use in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Nutrition Reviews 57(10): 306-9. Oct 1999.

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