Vitamin E dietary supplementation significantly affects multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease in baboons

David L. Rainwater, Michael C. Mahaney, John L. VandeBerg, Li Wang Xing

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Scopus citations


    Background: Oxidative stress is a widely accepted risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the CVD benefit of dietary antioxidants, such as vitamin E, is controversial. Objective: Therefore, we have investigated, in the baboon model, the effects of dietary vitamin E supplementation on risk factors for CVD. Design: Pedigreed baboons (n = 251) were fed 2 atherogenic diets, high in fat and cholesterol, that differed in vitamin E concentrations. After 7 wk on each diet, blood samples were taken, and a panel of CVD risk factor traits (ie, indicators of lipoprotein metabolism and oxidative stress) were measured. Results: Vitamin E supplementation caused significantly higher total antioxidant status (TAS) and lower oxidized LDL as expected. In addition, vitamin E caused 2 paradoxical effects on HDL metabolism: higher apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) concentrations and lower HDL sizes. We calculated a difference (Δ) variable for each trait as the value on the high-vitamin E diet minus that on the low-vitamin E diet and determined that several HDL concentration Δ variables were significantly correlated with Δ TAS, but only one, Δ apo A-I, was independently correlated. Genetic analyses showed that 2 Δ variables, Δ paraoxonase and Δ HDL2, were significantly heritable, but that neither Δ TAS nor Δ apo A-I were heritable. Conclusions: Thus, our data show that dietary vitamin E improves TAS and LDL quality. They also show 2 apparently paradoxical effects on HDL metabolism: lower HDL2, which is mediated by genes, and higher apo A-I, which is not. These effects have contrasting associations with CVD risk and may help account for the mixed results from clinical trials of dietary vitamin E.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)597-603
    Number of pages7
    JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


    • Antioxidants
    • Apo A-I
    • Apolipoprotein A-I
    • Baboons
    • HDL
    • High-density lipoprotein
    • Paraoxonase
    • Vitamin E

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Nutrition and Dietetics

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