Oxidative stress, antioxidant vitamins, and atherosclerosis. From basic research to clinical practice.
Antoniades C., Tousoulis D., Tentolouris C., Toutouzas P., Stefanadis C.
Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, while a variety of antioxidants has been used in clinical studies, during the past few years, for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. In small clinical studies it was found that both vitamins C and E may improve endothelial function in patients with risk factors for atherosclerosis such as diabetes mellitus, smoking, hypertension, or hypercholesterolemia. However, the initial, hopeful reports regarding the beneficial role of antioxidant vitamins against atherosclerosis, derived from purely observational studies, were followed by the negative results of almost all large randomized trials. Therefore, treatment with antioxidant vitamins C and E should not be recommended for the prevention or treatment of coronary atherosclerosis. New antioxidant strategies are needed to clarify the exact role of antioxidant treatment in coronary atherosclerosis.