Vitamin E supplements can dramatically reduce the risk of heart attacks and related deaths for diabetics who carry a particular version of a gene, say scientists in Israel.
After 18 months of treatment, people with the haptoglobin (Hp) 2-2 gene who took 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin E daily had more than 50% fewer heart attacks, strokes, and related deaths than Hp 2-2 patients who took a placebo pill. 40% of individuals with diabetes carry the Hp 2-2 gene.
The study suggests that genetic testing for the Hp 2-2 gene “may be useful to identify a large group of diabetes individuals who could potentially derive cardiovascular benefit from a very inexpensive treatment,” explains study author Dr. Andrew Levy.
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology – November 21, 2007;Epub. atvb.ahajournals.org Issue 1892