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|Scott Greenberg, NatureCity author & contributor|
Atherosclerosis can lead to heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease. It occurs when plaque builds up inside the arteries. A recent study suggests that taking a supplement of aged garlic and CoQ10 may lower your risk of atherosclerosis by improving the health of your blood vessels.
The study focused on 65 firefighters in Los Angeles because the high-stress nature of their jobs puts them at higher risk for CVD. For one year, half of the group took supplements of aged garlic extract and CoQ10 while the other half took a placebo.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted improved endothelial function (functioning of the cells in blood vessels) and improved vascular stiffness. Endothelial dysfunction is believed to be a predictor of future adverse cardiovascular events.
The researchers believe these benefits were the result of the high antioxidant properties of garlic and CoQ10. Additionally, garlic may provide anti-inflammatory activity.
The study was published online ahead of print in on August 1, 2012, in the journal Nutrition.
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that helps produces energy in the mitochondria of human cells. It has been linked with improved cognitive health and reversing the effects of aging.
If you want to increase your CoQ10 intake, try adding oily fish, organ meats (such as liver, hearts, etc.), and whole grains to your diet. You might also consider a high quality, high potency supplement. Be sure to choose a supplement that is made with ubiquinol rather than ubiquinone.
Garlic is one of the main ingredients in the increasingly popular Mediterranean diet. It is high in magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and selenium, and has been linked to many things including boosting the immune system and keeping your mind sharp as you age.
Garlic can be added to almost any meal, from omelets to salads to meat. If you’re worried about “garlic breath,” here’s a little tip: studies show that drinking some milk with meals that include garlic may leave your breath smelling better.
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