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Antioxidant/Vitamin E Combo May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Americans. While there are many factors than can contribute to heart problems, a recent study suggests that taking a supplement of resveratrol, pterostilbene, niacin, quercetin, and delta-tocotrienol may reduce markers of inflammation, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and triglycerides, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant most commonly found in red wine, pterostilbene is an antioxidant found in blueberries, niacin is a form of vitamin B, quercetin is a power flavonoid, and delta-tocotrienol is one of the eight forms of vitamin E.

Participants in the study included a group of healthy mature adults and a group of individuals of all ages with high cholesterol. The researchers performed two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over trials in which half of each group took a placebo and the other half took the supplement (100 mg delta-tocotrienol, niacin, resveratrol, pterostilbene and 200 mg quercetin) over the course of four weeks.

At the conclusion of the trial, the researchers noted lower levels of nitric oxide, markers of inflammation, and reduced lipid levels in the individuals with high cholesterol who had taken the supplement. They also found that the supplement group had lower levels of gamma-glytamyl-transferase (gamma-GT), which is a predictor for non-fatal myocardial infarction and fatal coronary heart disease.

Researchers from the University of Missouri conducted the study. It was published in the May 2013 issue of Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology.

Antioxidants are essential for good health because they combat free radicals, which break down cells in your body and can lead to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
Vitamin E intake is associated with lower cholesterol, healthier skin, maintaining a proper hormonal balance, and preventing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

B vitamins have been linked to numerous health benefits, including reducing breast cancer risk, nervous system function, red blood cell formation, and hormone function. Studies have also suggested that B vitamins may reduce the risk of stroke, hearing loss, and birth defects.

The best way to increase your intake of all of these essential nutrients is through consuming a varied, healthy diet with high levels of fruits and vegetables. If you think you’re not getting enough from diet alone, however, you may want to consider some high-quality supplements.

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