Tags: antioxidants | heart | health | exercise

Do Antioxidants Hike Athletes’ Heart Health?

Thursday, 27 Dec 2012 10:23 AM


Antioxidants may reduce the risk of high blood pressure during exercise, according to new research that suggests low levels of such compounds contribute to hypertension during physical activity for people with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) — a leading cause of death from heart problems.
The study, by researchers at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute, found antioxidants prevent heart and cell damage caused by chemical agents — known as “reactive oxygen species” (ROS) — and free radicals.
"This study shows that blood pressure increases more with exercise in more severe PAD cases. By infusing the antioxidant vitamin C into the blood, we were able to lessen the increase in blood pressure during exercise," said Matthew Muller, a Penn State College of Medicine researcher who led the study, published the Journal of Physiology.
"This indicates that during normal, everyday activities such as walking, an impaired antioxidant system — as well as other factors — plays a role in the increased blood pressure response to exercise," Muller added. "Therefore, supplementing the diet with antioxidants may help these patients, but more studies are needed to confirm this concept."
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PAD affects an estimated 10 million Americans and increases the chance of death from cardiovascular problems. Reduced blood flow causes pain in the legs and increases blood pressure in people who have PAD.
For the study, Penn State researchers monitored three groups of PAD patients to study the blood pressure increase. A group of 13 PAD patients was compared to people without PAD to see the effects of doing low-intensity exercise on blood pressure. From that group, a second group of nine patients was used to measure the effects of vitamin C.
The results showed exercise increased blood pressure in the patients, but vitamin C infusions lessened the rise.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.




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Sports scientists have found antioxidants may reduce the risk of high blood pressure during exercise.
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2012-23-27
Thursday, 27 Dec 2012 10:23 AM
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