Vitamins and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Vitamins are classified as: fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, or K), and water-soluble vitamins (vitamin B or C). This chapter reviews the essential biochemistry, observational studies, and randomised trials of: homocysteine, B vitamins, and cardiovascular disease (CVD); vitamin D and CVD; vitamin E, C, and beta-carotene, and CVD. B vitamins play an essential role in one carbon metabolism in all cells, involving homocysteine and related compounds. Two meta-analyses of observational studies, one which included individual person data, suggested that taking vitamin D was associated with lower risks of overall mortality. Vitamin E comprises a number of fat-soluble tocopherols and tocotrienols, including alphatocopherol being the most widely studied. Multiple large-scale observational studies have reported inverse associations of vitamin C status with risk of CVD. Observational studies indicate that high intake of beta-carotene is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).