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Antioxidants May Improve Metabolism and Heart Health

Researchers from the Wolfson Medical Center in Israel recently found that antioxidants may improve metabolism and boost heart health.

Their findings were published in the July 2010 issue of the journal Nutrition & Metabolism.

The study included 70 people at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, meaning they either had high blood pressure, diabetes, low HDL cholesterol levels or were smokers. The average age of the participants was 62.

The participants were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or a daily antioxidant supplement. The supplement contained a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10 and selenium.

Six months into the study the researchers observed a significant increase in arterial elasticity among the supplement group. Arterial elasticity is a measure of the health of blood vessels.

The researchers also observed a decrease in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) from 145.2 to 136.1 mmHg among the supplement group and a drop from 78.4 to 75.0 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).

This study did not look into the mechanisms behind the results but previous studies have shown that antioxidants may protect DNA from oxidative damage, decrease harmful inflammation and keep the cells lining blood vessels healthy.

Due to these benefits, antioxidants have been linked to reductions in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and certain cancers.

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