Keep your heart strong

Multi-vitamin/minerals and garlic lowered blood pressure, magnesium reduced stroke, and selenium extended life in cardiovascular disease, in four new studies.

In a women’s study, over 100 obese women with high blood pressure and high blood sugar and fats with an average age 42 took a daily high-dose or low-dose multi-vitamin/mineral, a calcium supplement, or a placebo. After 26 weeks, compared to the placebo and calcium groups, both multi-vitamin groups had much lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. C-reactive protein, a sign of the inflammation that can lead to heart and other diseases, was lower as well.

In a men’s study, 84 men with mild or moderately high blood pressure took 600 mg of timed-release garlic powder tablets per day, or a placebo. After eight weeks, there was no change for placebo, but in the garlic group, systolic and diastolic blood pressure declined by 7.0 and 3.8 mmHg, respectively.

In a study of stroke, researchers measured magnesium levels in the diets and blood of over 14,000 men and women, aged 45 to 64, and followed up for 15 years. At the start of the study, those with normal levels of magnesium were less likely to have high blood pressure or diabetes. Over 15 years, those with high blood pressure and diabetes were most likely to have a stroke. Doctors suspect a link between low magnesium levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

In a selenium study, doctors measured selenium levels in over 1,700 participants with chest pain from cardiovascular disease. After six years of follow up, doctors found that selenium levels were lower in those who had died from a heart attack compared to those who lived, and that those with the highest selenium levels were 62 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest selenium levels.

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