Heart Attack and Antioxidants
Research indicates that use of antioxidant supplements helps minimize the extent of heart cell damage following a heart attack.
Effect of Antioxidants on Heart Attack
Antioxidant supplements help neutralize free radicals, which are dangerous, naturally occurring chemicals that may accelerate heart cell death following a heart attack.
Research Evidence on Antioxidants
In a double-blind trial, people who had just experienced a heart attack were given either placebo or a mixture of antioxidants ( vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene) for 28 days.9
How to Use Antioxidants
Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment
- Integrative MD
- Naturopathic doctor
- Nutritionist or dietitian
Side Effects and Warnings
In a 2008 detailed review of 67 randomized trials involving 232,550 participants, researchers found no evidence that antioxidant supplements could reduce mortality in either healthy or diseased individuals. On the contrary, there was some evidence that vitamin A , beta-carotene, and vitamin E supplementation may actually increase mortality.7
It is highly unlikely that antioxidants are harmful in modest quantities, such as those recommended by the U.S. government (called upper intake levels, or ULs). Foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants are considered not only safe, but beneficial. For more information, see side effects and warning information for the antioxidants that may help treat allergic rhinitis:
- Singh RB, Niaz MA, Rastogi SS, Tastogi S. Usefulness of antioxidant vitamins in suspected acute myocardial infarction (the Indian experiment of infarct survival-3). Am J Cardiol. 1996;77:232-236.