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Heart protection through vitamin E


Less damage caused by administration of vitamin E during an acute heart attack

With a heart attack, heart tissue is always damaged. By giving vitamin E to an acute heart attack, this damage can apparently be reduced. This was shown in an investigation with mice.

Vitamin E protects against dangerous diseases

According to health experts, vitamin E is said to slow down skin aging, reduce joint wear in rheumatism and arthrosis and even protect against cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Scientists also found that it offers protection against oxidative stress. And apparently, the vitamin can also help to reduce tissue damage during a heart attack.

Around 30 percent less damaged tissue

Dr. Maria Wallert from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena (FSU) used an animal model to investigate the effects of the administration of vitamin E (α-tocopherol) in an acute heart attack.

Mice in which a heart attack was induced served as a model organism.

"It is known that the concentration of α-tocopherol in the plasma of infarct patients decreases dramatically," explains Dr. Wallert in a message.

A connection with the antioxidative effect of α-tocopherol is likely, according to the scientist. The α-tocopherol is probably needed to strengthen the body's defenses against oxidative stress and inflammatory processes.

The experiment showed that there was about 30 percent less damaged tissue as a result of the heart attack than in the animals in the comparison group. The cardiac function of the mice treated with α-tocopherol was correspondingly better.

According to the researcher, it was still too early to transfer the test results to human medicine. "In future, however, it could be a therapeutic approach to administer α-tocopherol, i.e. vitamin E, before stents are placed."

Excellent researcher

Dr. Wallert has now been awarded the "GVF Vitamin Prize" by the Society for Applied Vitamin Research for her study "α-Tocopherol preserves myocardial function by amelioration of oxidative pathways in ischemia / reperfusion injury".

The 33-year-old nutritionist did research with Melanie Ziegler during her postdoc at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne (Australia).

Maria Wallert received the suggestion for her now award-winning research from her boss Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Peter, a cardiologist who works in Melbourne.

The award surprised her, especially since the work had not yet been published, says Dr. Wallert. (ad)

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