The proposal that antioxidants may retard the progression of atherosclerosis is not new. Published studies examining the effect of antioxidants on experimental antioxidants extend back to 1940. The results have all been inconsistent. However, the data regarding the beneficial effects of retarding atherosclerotic progression are strong enough to warrant continued research on the lipoprotein oxidation theory or atherosclerosis. However, caution is needed to avoid embracing a concept without proof. It should be noted that the National Cholesterol Education Program does not recommend the use of antioxidant vitamin supplements to reduce CAD. Atherogenesis is produced by multiple factors. To believe that all such factors are mediated by uncontrolled oxidative events is, to say the least, naive. Finally, should antioxidants prove to be effective in retarding coronary atherosclerosis, their place on the therapeutic ladder of CAD prevention would be low. The overwhelmingly proven evidence favors the following factors that have been proven to lower morbidity and mortality due to atherosclerosis: (a) treatment of hypertension, (b) cessation of tobacco use, (c) treatment of dyslipidemia, (d) achieving a normal weight, (e) regular exercise, (f) treatment of homocystinuria, especially in cases with renal disease, and (g) antioxidants.

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