Vitamin E may protect heart muscle after heart attack

In a new study, researchers found α-TOH (vitamin E) may help prevent heart muscle damage after a heart attack.

The finding sheds new light on the potential of the vitamin E therapy in patients with heart attack, and may ultimately offer an effective low-cost treatment.

A heart attack is a leading cause of death worldwide and new treatment strategies are highly sought-after.

Unfortunately, lasting damage to the heart muscle is not uncommon following such an event.

One of the most effective anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agents is vitamin E and its derivatives.

The nutrient has been tested unsuccessfully for preventing heart attacks but has not been investigated for actually treating heart attacks.

In the study, the team found could help heart muscle after a heart attack. The doses of vitamin E given in the study is approved to be safe by the European Commission Scientific Committee on Food.

As there is currently no drug available that can reduce the cardiac damage caused by an overshooting inflammation after reopening of a blocked coronary artery, the potential impact of this finding on heart health would be very strong.

The team says it is important that patients could receive their first application of vitamin E in the ambulance or upon their arrival in the emergency department, before reopening and stenting the blocked vessel and the following days in the hospital before discharge.

The team’s next step is to test an already approved formulation of Vitamin E in patients admitted with a heart attack.

They plan to prove that heart function is preserved using sensitive magnetic resonance imaging.

Thereby, they hope to establish an inexpensive and effective therapy for patients with a heart attack.

The lead author of the study is Professor Karlheinz Peter, the Baker Institute’s Deputy Director, Basic and Translational Science.

The study is published in Redox Biology.

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