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BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies have reported an inverse relationship between vitamin E status and coronary heart disease. This relationship has not, however, been confirmed by the majority of intervention studies, which have been carried out relatively late in the disease process. The protective effects of vitamin E may be more important earlier in life, before vascular changes have become established. This study investigated whether dietary vitamin E could prevent preclinical arterial changes in young adults relevant to the development of cardiovascular disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Measures of vascular function (arterial distensibility and endothelial-dependent and -independent vascular responses) were assessed by noninvasive high resolution ultrasound and related to plasma vitamin E and total antioxidant concentrations in 326 adults, aged 20-28 years. RESULTS: Neither vitamin E (alone or adjusted for lipids) nor total antioxidant status were significantly related to vascular endothelial function or arterial distensibility in either sex. There was no threshold level of vitamin E above which vascular function improved and neither vitamin E nor total antioxidant status interacted with any risk factor, such as smoking or increased low-density lipoprotein concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: Neither plasma vitamin E concentrations nor total antioxidant status achieved by dietary intake during young adulthood were related to vascular endothelial function or arterial distensibility.


Journal article


Eur J Clin Invest

Publication Date





889 - 894


Adult, Antioxidants, Brachial Artery, Cardiovascular Diseases, Elasticity, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Humans, Male, Muscle, Smooth, Vascular, Regional Blood Flow, Regression Analysis, Risk Assessment, Ultrasonography, Vitamin E