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Heart Attack and Antioxidants

Written by ColleenO.

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.

Read more details about Antioxidants.

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

An antioxidant cocktail was used in this study. It included vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene.

Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment

  • Integrative MD
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Nutritionist or dietitian

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:

Vitamin C side effects and warnings

Vitamin E side effects and warnings

Quercetin side effects and warnings

Beta-carotene side effects and warnings

Zinc side effects and warnings

Selenium side effects and warnings


  1. 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.

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