Earlier, cardiologists often prescribed vitamin E for diabetic patients.
However, the practice was stopped in recent times after several major studies showed no heart-protective effects. Studies rather found potential harm from vitamin E mega-doses.
The new study led by researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Clalit Health Services in Israel suspected that there might be one group of diabetic patients who could benefit from vitamin E.
They found that the Vitamin E supplements can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks and related deaths particularly in people who carry 'Hp 2-2 gene', a particular variant of 'haptoglobin gene', reported science portal Science Daily.
Haptoglobin is a powerful antioxidant protein that stabilizes the iron-rich red blood cell molecule called haemoglobin, preventing inflammation in the walls of arteries.
Researcher Andrew Levy and colleagues studied 1434 people who were treated for 18 months.
They found that people with the Hp 2-2 gene who took 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin E daily had more than 50 percent fewer heart attacks, strokes, and related deaths than people with the same gene who took a placebo pill.
The scientists said 40 percent of individuals with diabetes carry the Hp 2-2 gene.
Most of the difference came from the reduced number of heart attacks among those taking vitamin E, the scientists said.
The scientists also said they did not observe any side effect in patients who took vitamin E. They also discovered that diabetic patients with Hp 2-2 are two-three times more likely than other diabetics to suffer a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Kasım 2007, 17:01