(Natural News) A pre-clinical study published in the journal Redox Biology found that vitamin E can help prevent and treat muscle damage after a heart attack.
The researchers said that while vitamin E failed to prevent heart attack per se, current research on whether vitamin E can be beneficial post-heart attack is lacking. Their ongoing research, on the other hand, may prove that the nutrient can be used to preserve heart function after the condition occurs.
"As there is currently no drug available that can reduce the cardiac damage caused by an overshooting inflammation after reopening a blocked coronary artery, the potential impact of our finding on cardiovascular health would be significant," said Dr. Maria Wallert.
Vitamin E treatment preserves cardiac function
Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. In the United States alone, 647,457 deaths are due to heart disease, according to 2017 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart attack is especially prevalent, with about 805,000 Americans having a heart attack every year.
Treatment is also expensive. A study estimated that hospitalization for heart attack averages $53,384, while hospital costs for heart bypass surgery can amount to as much as $177,546. Aside from the debilitating effects, patients also have to grapple with the financial burden that comes with the condition.
However, people may not have to worry so much about the high costs, as vitamin E treatment can potentially offer a low-cost and effective alternative.
In the current study, researchers used alpha-tocopherol, the strongest antioxidant form of vitamin E, to save dying cardiac muscles during a heart attack in mice. They found that vitamin E treatment helped preserve heart function by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. (Related: Be proactive about your heart health today by understanding how a heart attack happens.)