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This article on the heart is just the thing for our February health emphasis from Natural Insights for Well Being.

Nutrients reduced oxidative stress, lowered chances of heart disease


Flexible arteries with smooth inner wall linings reduce chances for heart disease, so keeping plaque from building up along coronary artery walls is essential to good heart health. Doctors said a common factor in heart disease is the oxidative damage from free radicals that accelerates plaque buildup.

In this study, 39 older adults with at least one major coronary artery half-blocked by plaque took 500 mg of l-carnitine twice per day or a placebo. After 12 weeks, signs of oxidative cell damage increased for placebo by 5 percent but decreased for l-carnitine by 10 percent.

Levels of a powerful antioxidant, superoxide dismutase, declined for placebo by 12 percent yet rose 39 percent in the l-carnitine group. Finally, a detoxifying enzyme that supports antioxidant defenses decreased 7 percent for placebo but increased 11 percent for l-carnitine.


Vitamin D

In this study, doctors measured vitamin D levels in 14,641 adults and followed up for 13 years. Those with the highest circulating levels of vitamin D were less likely to have died from any cause compared to those with the lowest levels. Looking at specific diseases, compared to those with the lowest levels, those with the highest levels of vitamin D were less likely to have cardiovascular disease, a heart attack, or a respiratory disease of any kind. Those with the highest vitamin D levels were also 76 percent less likely to have died from any respiratory disease.

Doctors said, contrary to other studies, there was no link to cancer for those with the highest levels of vitamin D.

Reference: Nutrition Journal; 2014, Vol. 13, No. 79, Published Online

Betsy’s Note: L-carnitine may be contraindicated with blood thinners and for people with hypothyroidism.  Since vitamin D helps the body absorb more calcium, any conditions that may worsen because of this or any medications designed to do the same may alter your body’s needs for vitamin D.  This article is for educational purposes.  It is not meant to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any disease.  Consult your healthcare provider.

Article copyright January 2015 by Natural Insights for Well-Being.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.