Vitamins C and E, and multi-vitamins extended life, and men and women who practiced healthy lifestyle behaviors had healthier hearts and blood pressure, in three new studies.
In a lifespan study, researchers asked about 78,000 adults, aged 50 to 76, to list the vitamins they had taken during the last 10 years and followed up for the next five years. Compared to those who didn’t take supplements, those who took vitamins C and E were less likely to die from any cause, and those who took multi-vitamins daily for 10 years were 16 percent less likely to die from heart disease.
In a men’s lifestyle study, doctors followed about 21,000 men, average age 54, for 22 years, tracking six adjustable lifestyle factors: body weight, smoking and exercise; and consuming alcohol, breakfast cereals, and fruits and vegetables. Compared to participants with no healthy lifestyle factors, men who maintained four or more healthy factors tended to live longer, have less diabetes and high blood pressure, and were twice as likely to avoid heart failure.
In a women’s blood pressure study, scientists followed about 84,000 women, aged 27 to 44, for 14 years and tracked six adjustable lifestyle factors: body weight and exercise; and consuming salt, alcohol, painkillers (such as acetaminophen) and folic acid supplements. Compared to women with six unhealthy lifestyle factors, women with a healthy approach were 78 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure. Weight was the single most important factor with overweight and obese women twice as likely to have high blood pressure as women of healthy weight. For the other five factors, women with unhealthy lifestyles were more than twice as likely to have high blood pressure as were women who exercised regularly, consumed low levels of salt, alcohol and painkillers, and took at least 400 mcg of folic acid per day.