Antioxidant vitamins and cardiovascular disease

Only carotenoid intake associated with CVD risk

A 0.6 mg/d alpha-carotene greater intake at entry was associated with a 19% lower 15-year risk of CVD mortality in elderly men in Zutphen. Men with a 1.5 mg/d beta-carotene greater intake had a 20% lower  CVD mortality risk. Carrots are the primary source of alpha- and beta-carotene and high consumption of carrots was related to a 17% lower risk of CVD mortality. Alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, and vitamin C intake were not related to cardiovascular mortality.

Conflicting results on carotenoids

Early reports of others in prospective cohort studies suggested that a high intake of beta-carotene was associated with a lower CVD risk. But in sharp contrast, large-scale trials conducted in high-risk persons (e.g. smokers) showed that supplements of a large amount of beta-carotene apparently did not decrease but rather increased CVD risk. The role of carotenoids in CVD prevention, therefore, remains controversial. The Zutphen Elderly Study results suggest that only the intake alpha- and beta-carotene was inversely related to CVD mortality.

About the Zutphen Elderly Study

The Zutphen Elderly Study is an extension of the original Zutphen Study with a sample of the same age where detailed information on the diet of all the participants was collected four times between 1985 and 2000.  Read more about the Zutphen (Elderly) Study.

More about the relationship between diet and CHD

Flavonols and cardiovascular disease

In 1992 it was found for the first time that a high intake of flavonols was associated with a 68% lower 5-year fatal CHD risk. This result was confirmed using 10-year mortality data.