Friday, October 26, 2007

Quercetin reduces blood pressure in adults with hypertension


Quercetin, an antioxidant found many foods including onions, berries and apples, is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Supplementation with quercetin has been shown to reduce hypertension in animal models, but until now has never been tested in hypertensive humans.

Researchers at the University of Utah, in collaboration with USANA Health Sciences, conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study to test the effectiveness of quercetin supplementation in lowering unhealthy blood pressure levels.

The subjects were divided into two groups: prehypertensives (120-139 mm Hg systolic/80-89 mm Hg diastolic) or stage 1 hypertensives (140-159 mm Hg systolic/90-99 mm Hg diastolic). The participants were given either 730 mg quercetin/day or placebo for 28 days. Blood pressure remained unchanged in prehypertensives after supplementation with quercetin. In contrast, stage 1 hypertensive subjects showed significant reductions in both systolic (-7 mm Hg) and diastolic (-2 mm Hg) blood pressure after quercetin supplementation.

This is the first published study to show that quercetin supplementation can reduce blood pressure in hypertensive adult humans. Additionally, it is important to note that quercetin supplementation did not influence the blood pressure of non-hypertensive individuals.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

CoEnzyme Q10 protects nerve cells

CoEnzyme Q10 has shown the ability to protect nerve cells and potentially lower the risk of various degenerative diseases.

Cells in the brain and nervous system depend on optimal mitochondrial function for energy. A research study published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease showed that oxidative stress causes mitochondria to produce excessive free radicals, leading to nerve cell damage and destruction.

Due to its function in the mitochondrial energy process and its role as an antioxidant, researchers evaluated CoEnzyme Q10 for its ability to protect nerve cells. The results of this study revealed that CoEnzyme Q10 inhibits the production of free radicals by the mitochondria and stabilizes the mitochondrial membrane when nerve cells are subjected to oxidative stress.

CoEnzyme Q10 may therefore have a potential benefit in reducing the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases.

Source: Role of mitochondria in neuronal cell death induced by oxidative stress; neuroprotection by Coenzyme Q10, Somayajulu M et al, Neurobiol Dis. 2005 Apr;18(3):618-27

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Macular degeneration risk is reduced in adults with high intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative eye disease that causes damage to the macula (central retina) of the eye, impairing central vision. In a recent large study, participants with the highest intakes of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin had significantly lower risk of AMD compared to those with low intakes.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative eye disease that causes damage to the macula (central retina) of the eye, impairing central vision. People affected by Age-Related Macular Degeneration have difficulty reading, driving and performing activities that require clear central vision. AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in developed countries. A recent report published in the September, 2007 issue of the journal Archives of Ophthalmology added more evidence to support previous research showing that carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein are protective against AMD. Dark green leafy vegetables are the primary dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, but they are also found in some other colorful fruits and vegetables. Average dietary intake in the U.S. is only 2 mg/day, far below the 6 mg/day level most studies indicate as a minimum needed to reduce the risk of AMD. In the current report, members of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) Research Group evaluated the diets of 4,519 AREDS participants aged 60 to 80 years. Retinal photographs were used to divide the subjects into five categories of macular disease severity, from individuals with little or no evidence of macular degeneration (the control group) to severe, neovascular disease. Dietary questionnaires were analyzed for lutein, zeaxanthin, beta- carotene, lycopene, and other nutrient levels. Participants whose intake of lutein and zeaxanthin were greatest had a significantly lower risk of AMD than those whose intake was least, and were less likely to have large or extensive intermediate drusen, the deposits on the retina or optic nerve that characterize the disease. No risk reductions were associated with the other nutrients examined in this study.


The Relationship of Dietary Carotenoid and Vitamin A, E, and C Intake With Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Case-Control Study: Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group AREDS Report No. 22, Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125(9):1225-1232

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Read This First

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