Update on vitamin supplements for the prevention of coronary disease and stroke

Kevin A. Pearce, Maria G. Boosalis, Bryan Yeager

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Dietary antioxidants and folio acid may play a role in the pathophysiology of coronary disease and stroke. We review patient-oriented evidence on the effectiveness of supplementation with antioxidants and/or folic acid in the prevention of myocardial infarction and stroke. Observational data suggest cardiovascular benefit of vitamin E supplementation, but results of controlled clinical trials are inconsistent regarding the effect on nonfatal myocardial infarction. Moreover, studies have not shown a protective effect of vitamin E against fatal myocardial infarction and have not addressed stroke. For vitamin C and folic acid supplementation, observational data are inconsistent and controlled clinical trials are lacking. Thus, the available evidence is insufficient to recommend the routine use of vitamin E, vitamin C or folate supplements for the prevention of myocardial infarction or stroke. The evidence argues against the use of beta carotene supplements for this purpose. The costs and risks associated with these supplements are low, however, and physcians may choose to recommend vitamin E, folate and/or vitamin C supplementation pending conclusive evidence from clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1366
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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