Nutrients reduce colds, increase exercise capacity

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The Betsy’s Team is “always taking your health and your budget to heart.”

Two studies reveal the advantages of vitamin C and Omega-3s for men in this article from Natural Insights for Well-Being:

Vitamin C increased activity

Wanting to be less active is an early sign of vitamin C deficiency, along with longer-lasting colds. Doctors wanted to test the effects of vitamin C on physical activity and respiratory tract infections during peak cold season.

In the study, 28 healthy non-smoking men, aged 18 to 35, either healthy weight or obese, took 1,000 mg of vitamin C per day or a placebo. Over the course of the winter, fewer men in the vitamin C group reported catching cold, and those that did spent 59 percent less time ill. During the last two weeks of the study, men in the vitamin C group increased physical activity 40 percent above the activity level reported by the placebo group.

Discussing their findings, doctors said, because oxidative stress is linked to fatigue, the good results may be due to the antioxidants in vitamin C.

Reference: Nutrients; 2014, Vol. 6, No. 7, 2572-83

Omega-3s boost “exercise economy”

In this exercise study, 20 men took 3,600 mg of EPA-rich fish oil per day, or a placebo. After eight weeks, while there were no increases for placebo, in the omega-3 group EPA levels increased 148 percent and DHA levels 13 percent. During a cycling test, doctors found the men with higher red blood cell levels of EPA required less oxygen compared to the same test at the beginning of the study.

Doctors call the effect “exercise economy,” where the need for oxygen decreases as the levels of EPA rise. The EPA group also felt they needed to use less energy to complete the cycling test, a psychological benefit.

Reference: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry; August, 2014, Published Online

Betsy’s Note: Vitamin C and Omega-3s also thin blood.  This article is for educational purposes only.  It is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  It is always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before beginning any supplement, especially if you also take prescription medications.

Article copyright 2014 by Natural Insights for Well-Being.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.