Could Anti-Ageing Supplements Improve Your Heart Health?

You may be taking supplements to delay the signs of ageing, but you’re also helping your heart wellness in the process. This is according to a new study, presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions, which found that a diet which is low in grains, beans and certain vegetables can improve your blood vessel function — when it is combined with “anti-ageing” supplements.

When the cells lining the interior wall of your blood vessels malfunction, this is known as endothelial dysfunction. The blood vessel abnormality is a serious condition that can really threaten your wellbeing, as it’s often one of the first signs of heart disease. Therefore, the researchers studied 200 51-86-year-old people, all of whom had risk factors for blood vessel disease. 40% of the study participants were women, and nearly three-quarters of those involved in the study already had endothelial dysfunction.

For the study, participants ate a diet which restricted foods high in the sugar-binding protein lectin. This nutrient is generally regarded as a healthy, as you can tell by the foods that contain lectin. The volunteers were not allowed to eat any grains, beans, fruit, poultry or plants belonging to the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes. The patients were allowed to eat plenty of leafy greens, shellfish and fish, olive oil and grass-fed animal protein.

At the same time, the participants took supplements containing the antioxidant polyphenol from fish oil, grape seed extract and vitamins. Antioxidants are thought to slow cell ageing. However, even though the research revealed that this combination of a lectin-restricted diet and anti-ageing supplements worked to restore endothelial function, that is not to say that you should eliminate tomatoes or other healthy foods from your diet. According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that you consume a diet which contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish.

Steven R. Gundry, MD, lead author and medical director of the International Heart & Lung Institute at The Centre for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs, California, commented, ‘These findings represent a fundamental paradigm shift in how the diseases of the “Western Diet” should be treated. Simple removal of ‘healthy’ lectin-containing foods, and taking a few inexpensive supplements, may restore endothelial function to normal, which in turn can reverse high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.’

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