A new study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology suggests that high vitamin E may help lower blood pressure. Sixty seven million Americans have hypertension, or high blood pressure, a chronic condition that can lead to potentially fatal outcomes. Hypertension increases your risk for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). When your arteries narrow and harden, blood flow to your brain, heart, kidneys, and extremities becomes blocked. This, in turn, leads to coronary artery disease, an enlarged left heart, and gradual heart failure, all of which increase your risk for a deadly heart attack. But hypertension can also damage your brain, increasing the likelihood of stroke or dementia, injure your eyes and nerves, and even cause bone loss and sexual dysfunction. It’s imperative to manage high blood pressure, and thankfully the latest research suggests vitamin E may give you a boost in the right direction.
Lower Your Risk by 27%!
Akiko Kuwabara of Osaka Shoin Women’s University and colleagues analyzed data from Japan’s National Health and Nutrition Survey 2007. They studied the dietary records of 1,405 men and 2,102 women ages 40 and older. They found that the men and women whose vitamin E intake fell within the top 1/3 of participants had a 27% lower risk of hypertension, while those in the middle third had a 19% lower risk. Researchers defined hypertension as a systolic (top number) of 140 mmHg or higher and a diastolic (bottom) number of 90 mmHg or higher, or use of a blood-pressure-lowering drug.
Vitamin E’s Heart Protective Benefits
As a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin E helps to inhibit the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids and LDL cholesterol, which cause plaque buildup and atherosclerosis. Vitamin E also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and helps to prevent blood clotting. Several observational studies suggest a link between adequate vitamin E intake and heart health. The Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study showed that people who took 400 IU or more of vitamin E daily for more than 20 years had 20-40% reductions in coronary heart disease risk.
Increasing your dietary intake for vitamin E is cause for celebration! Vitamin E is in a wide range of foods, all of them tasty. Check out the list of vitamin E-rich foods below:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Rainbow Trout
- Olive Oil
Want to be on the safe side and supplement with vitamin E? World-renowned integrative medicine practitioner Dr. Andrew Weil recommends avoiding the synthetic form of vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol) in favor of a vitamin E complex that includes mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols, and includes at least 10 mg of tocotrienols.