Vitamin E Helps Radiation-Induced Heart Disease

Cancer patients undergoing certain types of radiation treatment are prone to developing radiation-induced heart disease, especially when the heart is in the radiation area. A group led by researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences recently examined whether taking both vitamin E a-tocopherol (as Tocomin SupraBio, from Carotech, with U.S. headquarters in Edison, NJ) and a drug called pentoxifylline (PTX) could help.

The group gave rats with radiation-induced heart disease either PTX alone or the drug plus a-tocopherol-enriched food. After three months of treatment (which was six months after radiation), PTX-treated rats showed arrhythmia in five out of 14 animals. It also did not improve cardiac function. Meanwhile, a-tocopherol helped lessen myocardial injury by reducing the number of mast cells and macrophages (which contribute to inflammation), and enhanced the expression of tissue factor. Given these results, the researchers say the natural therapy “deserves further examination.”

The data are published in PLoS ONE.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2013