We just learned that vitamin E plays a major role in preventing Alzheimer's disease. But vitamin E is hardly a one-trick pony. In fact, another study out this week shows that vitamin E, along with three other antioxidants, can help combat cardiovascular disease.
For this study, Israeli scientists recruited 70 patients who had at least two of the following risk factors:
- high blood pressure
low HDL cholesterol (or "good" cholesterol)
- smoked cigarettes
Scientists divided participants into two random groups. The first group received 1000 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, 200 mcg of selenium, and 120 mg of coenzyme Q10 each day. The second group received a placebo. The participants continued this regimen for six months.
After six months, researchers found that the antioxidant group experienced some major changes in their overall health.
First off, the patients' HDL -- or "good" -- cholesterol increased. They also lowered their blood pressure. And their blood sugar levels came down as well. And best of all, the researchers noted an improvement in overall arterial elasticity in the antioxidant patients. And that's a biggie, because stiff arteries lead to heart attacks and strokes.
On the other hand, the group receiving just the placebo for six months didn't experience any of these improvements. Their numbers all stayed the same. What's the take home message here, folks? There's always plenty you can do to improve your overall health...even if you've already been diagnosed with hypertension or diabetes.
Now, of course, I would make a few tweaks to the Israeli regimen. First off, instead of taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C once a day, take that amount twice a day. (That's my minimum recommended level for healthy adults.)
In addition, you can take 400 IU of vitamin E twice a day as well. I would also make sure to add magnesium to the mix for anyone with a heart condition or diabetes. Go for 500 to 800 mg of it per day. Magnesium helps to relax your blood vessels and normalize your blood pressure. And lastly, I would also add 1,000 mg of l-carnitine. This nutrient helps you turn fat into energy.