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Dietary supplements and exercise associated with lower heart disease risk in women

Dietary supplements and exercise associated with lower heart disease risk in women

Friday, June 14, 2013. In an article published online on June 7, 2013 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, researchers from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan report a reduction in the incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD) in middle-aged women who engaged in exercise or used dietary supplements.

The study included 65 women whose age averaged 56.2 years. Cardiac catheterization revealed the presence of coronary artery disease in 31 subjects. Questionnaire responses provided data concerning medical conditions, family history of coronary artery disease, the use of hormone replacement, physical activity levels, and the intake of dietary supplements over the preceding year, including multivitamins, B-complex, individual B vitamins, vitamins C, D and E; calcium, iron and others. Blood samples were analyzed for fasting glucose, lipids and additional factors.

Subjects with coronary artery disease had a greater incidence of elevated diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and diabetes in comparison with women who did not have CAD. The percentage of women without heart disease who used dietary supplements was more than double the percentage of those with CAD. Multivitamins, B-complex, calcium and vitamin D were the most common supplements reported. Adjusted analysis of the data uncovered a 72% lower risk of coronary artery disease in supplement users compared to nonusers and an 84% lower risk of CAD among those who engaged in physical activity in comparison with inactive women.

Authors C. C. Tsai and colleagues remark that by reducing lipid peroxidation and free radical damage, vitamins C and E, and other antioxidants help protect the heart's blood vessels. In addition, studies have found a reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides in association with increased vitamin C intake. Furthermore, B vitamins can help prevent increases in serum homocysteine, which damages the lining of the vessels, lowers nitric oxide levels and alters platelet activity.

"It is clear that supplement use and physical activity can significantly predict CAD; therefore, middle-aged women are encouraged to take appropriate supplements and engage in physical activity in order to prevent CAD," the authors conclude.

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Vitamin D supplements lower BP in African-Americans

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On March 13, 2013 in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension published the outcome of a trial conducted by Boston researchers which uncovered a reduction in blood pressure in association with vitamin D supplementation among African-American men and women, who have a significantly greater risk of hypertension in comparison with other groups.

Two hundred eighty-three participants of an average age of 51 were randomized to receive 1000, 2000 or 4000 international units (IU) vitamin D3 or a placebo for three months during two consecutive winters. Blood pressure and plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were evaluated before and after treatment, and three months after the supplements were discontinued.

Plasma vitamin D levels rose correspondingly with increasing doses of vitamin D. While systolic blood pressure was higher by the end of the treatment periods among those who received the placebo, supplementation with vitamin D was associated with a decline in blood pressure that was greater among those that received higher doses of the vitamin. Among participants who received the highest dose of vitamin D, systolic blood pressure dropped by an average of 4.0 mmHg. Analysis of the data revealed a 0.2 mmHg average reduction in systolic pressure in association with every 1 nanogram per milliliter (ng/mL) increase in plasma vitamin D.

"This study may explain and help treat an important public health disparity," noted lead author John Forman, MD, who is affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital's Renal Division and Kidney Clinical Research Institute. "More research is needed, but these data may indicate that vitamin D supplementation lowers blood pressure in African-Americans."

"The gains were modest, but significant," he added. "If further research supports our finding, widespread use of vitamin D supplementation in African-Americans could have significant public health benefits."

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Life Extension Update What's Hot
Multivitamin use associated with lower heart attack risk in women B complex supplements reduce atherosclerosis progression in individuals with elevated homocysteine
Long-term antioxidant supplementation improves arterial health Multivitamin supplementation lowers LDL cholesterol oxidation and homocysteine
Supplement use associated with positive health status and healthy behaviors Activity of enzyme associated with high HDL related to increase in antioxidant vitamins
Life Extension Magazine® Health Topics
How you can help end the heart disease epidemic Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease
Battling heart disease with B vitamins Homocysteine reduction
How vitamin C prevents heart attacks Blood clot prevention

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