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Volume 2 Published - 14:00 UTC    08:00 EST    29-March-2001      
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Back To Vidyya Vitamin E Keeps The Arteries Open

News From Yale's Prevention Research Center

Vitamin E keeps arteries open even when a high-fat meal has been consumed, a new health study conducted at Yale University shows.

Dr. David L. Katz of Yale's Prevention Research Center led a team of researchers who measured the effects of Vitamin E, oatmeal and wheat cereal against the body's blood flow after test patients consumed the high-fat meal in the form of a milkshake containing eggs, ice cream and other fatty products.

The results, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, showed that blood flow was maintained at normal healthy levels when a Vitamin E capsule was taken along with the fatty meal. The Vitamin E was in supplement form of 800 international units (IU).

In addition to the effect of Vitamin E working against the fatty meal, intake of oatmeal also appeared to help maintain the proper blood flow in arteries, the test determined. But not wheat, which was used as a placebo by the seven scientists conducting the study.

The study was based on findings that high-fat meals harm the function of the body's blood vessels. Using ultrasound testing, the study determined that the fatty meals caused arterial blood flow to drop by l3.4 percent. When followed by the 800 IU of Vitamin E or by the oatmeal, no significant differences in the blood flow were found.

The tests were conducted on 50 adults, 25 men and 25 women in what was described as a "randomized, crossover study." All of the test subjects were known to be free of vascular disease, and the female participants were all post-menopausal.

The test group consumed the high-fat meal -- 50 grams of fat -- on three occasions spread over three weeks. Brachial artery peak flow was tested within one minute after consumption of the high-fat meal.

There was no difference in brachial artery flow change before or after the high-fat meal with either the Vitamin E supplement or oatmeal, the researchers concluded, noting that their findings "may have important implications for cardiovascular health."

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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