Tags: antioxidant | heart | health

Antioxidant Hikes Heart Health

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:47 PM

Scientists have discovered a new enzyme that, at high levels, dramatically reduces the risk of heart disease.
University of Minnesota researchers have found the enzyme – glutathione peroxidase (GPx3) – is a natural antioxidant that helps the body repair damage from disease-causing free radicals. When found at high levels, GPx3 significantly cuts the risk of cardiovascular disease, even in people who may be prone to heart disease.
The study, published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE, involved an assessment of 130 patients from the Minnesota Heart Survey who died of cardiovascular disease.
The researchers’ findings suggest people with high levels of good cholesterol don’t benefit as much from GPx3. But for those patients with low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol, the GPx3 enzyme could potentially be a big benefit. The enzyme's link to cardiovascular disease may also help doctors identify people at risk for heart problems because they have low levels of good cholesterol and the protective GPx3.
"In our study, we found that people with high levels of the GPx3 enzyme and low levels of good cholesterol were six times less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people with low levels of both," said lead researcher Dr. Jordan L. Holtzman, with the University of Minnesota Medical School. "This GPx3 enzyme gives us a good reason to believe that natural antioxidants like GPx3 are good for heart health."
Researchers estimate the combination of low HDL and low GPx3 affects an estimated 50 million Americans – one in four adults -- and can lead to fatal heart attacks and strokes.
"It's important to point out that people should not rush out to their doctors and demand testing for the GPx3 enzyme," added Holtzman. "But in time, we hope that measuring this enzyme will be a common blood test when determining whether a patient is at risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes."
The study was funded, in part, by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

© HealthDay

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Newly discovered enzyme GPx3 helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:47 PM
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