Clinical Question: Does vitamin E have a role in the treatment or prevention of heart disease?
Setting: Various (meta-analysis)
Study Design: Meta-analysis (randomized controlled trials)
Synopsis: Investigators in this systematic review searched 11 databases for research on vitamin E and its relatives. The authors located 8,173 studies in any language, and narrowed this number to 84 controlled trials of vitamin E that evaluated clinical outcomes. In six studies, in which follow-up ranged from two to seven years, vitamin E supplementation did not affect mortality when used as secondary or primary prevention. Cardiovascular mortality rates were similar when the five large studies were combined. Vitamin E therapy had no effect on rates of fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction. Vitamin E also did not increase the risk of any outcomes. In these studies, thousands of patients were evaluated. However, most of the studies were of low quality (i.e., Jadad score: 3 or less out of a possible 5).
Bottom Line: Vitamin E has no effect on the cardiovascular system. It is not useful for the prevention or treatment of heart disease. (Level of Evidence: 1a)