Supplementing with antioxidants vitamin C or vitamin E does not cut the risk of heart disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In this study, 14,641 middle-aged men took either vitamin C, vitamin E or a placebo for an average of eight years.
The men who took the antioxidant supplements did not suffer fewer heart attacks or strokes when compared to those who took a placebo, say the researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Vitamin E and vitamin C are antioxidants thought to protect against damage caused by free radicals, substances that can harm cells, tissues and organs.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in both antioxidants, and it's well documented that people who eat plenty of plant foods have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other conditions.
Instead of taking supplements, the researchers are advising people to focus on eating a healthy diet to control risk factors such as high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure to reduce the risk of heart disease.
High blood cholesterol can be controlled by increasing intake of soluble fibre from oats, oatbran, ground flaxseed and psyllium.
Fruits that are high in vitamin C - such as oranges, grapefruits, cantaloupes, and strawberries - are also rich in soluble fibre.
Click here for more information on nutrition strategies to control blood cholesterol and manage heart disease risk.
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