Vitamins Help with Familiar Hypercholesterolemia

Published Online: Wednesday, October 1, 2003

    Vitamins C and E may help reduce the risk of clogged arteries in children and young adults who have inherited high cholesterol. Researchers have found that the vitamins improve blood flow through the arteries and may prevent damage that leads to atherosclerosis. Furthermore, their study was the first to indicate that vitamins can reverse the damage as well, according to findings recently published in Circulation.

    ?When we gave these children moderate doses of vitamins C and E for 6 weeks, we saw a significant improvement in blood-vessel function, which is an important indicator of cardiovascular health,? said lead researcher Marguerite Engler, PhD, of the University of California at San Francisco.

    In the study, Engler?s team studied 15 children and young adults aged 9 to 20 who had average total cholesterol levels of 242 and low-density lipoprotein levels of 187. Half of the participants received a daily dose of 500 mg of vitamin C and 400 international units of vitamin E for 6 weeks. The remaining participants received placebos, and then the groups were switched.

    ?The findings of this study suggest hope for children with abnormally high cholesterol levels that their condition can be improved through vitamin supplements,? said Patricia Grady, PhD, RN, director of the National Institute of Nursing Research, which helped fund the study.

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