Research: VAN DE VIJVER and colleag

Listed in Issue 37


VAN DE VIJVER and colleagues, Department of Epidemiology, TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, Zeist, The Netherlands. VandeVijver@Voeding.TNO.NL. review (88 references) the evidence regarding the possible role of antioxidants in the prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD).


Dietary antioxidants include vitamins E, C and beta-carotene and selenium is an integral part of glutathione peroxidase. Research suggests that oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in vessel walls may play an important role in the development of atherosclerotic lesions.



Resistance of LDL to oxidation is increased by antioxidant supplementation in vitro. Epidemiological studies have not unequivocally demonstrated that high dietary intake of antioxidants results in decreased CHD risk, studies regarding dietary intake and serum antioxidant levels do not appear to point in the direction of a preventive effect of antioxidants and results of intervention studies are less conclusive. Supplementation with beta-carotene is not associated with decreased CHD; high doses of vitamin E may be beneficial, although results from large trials are awaited.


General preventive measures based upon antioxidant supplementation are not yet justifiable.


Van de Vijver LP et al. Lipoprotein oxidation, antioxidants and cardiovascular risk: epidemiologic evidence. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 57(4-5): 479-87. Oct 1997.

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