Vitamin E reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack, or dying from them in a significant number of diabetics

December 03, 2007

Haptoglobin is a powerful antioxidant protein in our blood. Haptoglobin binds to free oxy-hemoglobin, a form of the substance in blood that carries oxygen, and prevents it from becoming cross linked; otherwise glycosylated hemoglobin would form, and this form of hemoglobin hardens tissues and reduces cellular function in a process that greatly accelerates aging in diabetics. In fact a major diagnostic tool doctors use to judge the effectiveness of a diabetics blood sugar control is a measure of the level of glycosylated hemoglobin; if it is high it shows poor blood sugar control over a two or three-month period. There are two forms of haptoglobin; 1 and 2 with haptoglobin 2 being less protective/ Genes control the quality of your haptoglobin's ability to protect you and if you have the poorer quality haptoglobin you are more prone to heart disease.

In this new study it was determined that many diabetics (2-3 % of the total population) have the gene that creates under-protective haptoglobin. Israeli researchers' split 1434 diabetic patients with under-functioning haptoglobin randomly into two groups; one group received Vitamin E 400 IU every day and the other group received inactive placebo. Within 18 months the Vitamin E supplementation was so effective at protecting these diabetics that the study was terminated early due to overwhelming evidence of its protective ability; The Vitamin significantly reduced the number of patients who suffered with a heart attack, a stroke, or who died from either event. The study is published online ahead of print in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.