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CoQ10 and beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants for the heart

CoQ10

Oxidative stress occurs when oxygen free-radicals outnumber antioxidants in the body, leading to inflammation that damages cell proteins, fats and DNA. In coronary artery disease (CAD), blood vessels thicken and narrow, and doctors in one study said oxidative stress and inflammation play a central role. In the study, 51 people with advanced CAD took 60 mg of CoQ10 per day, 150 mg per day or a placebo. Coenzyme Q10, or ubiquinone, is a powerful antioxidant that helps produce energy in every cell in the body.

After 12 weeks, while there was no significant change in the placebo or 60 mg groups, those who took 150 mg of CoQ10 had 29 percent lower levels of oxidative stress and a large increase in protective antioxidant enzyme activity.

Doctors concluded CoQ10 may promote rapid and sustainable antioxidation in CAD.

Beta-Carotene

In another study, researchers compared levels of cholesterol, oxidative stress and inflammation in 91 people with advanced coronary artery disease (CAD) to 49 healthy people. Compared to healthy participants, those with CAD had elevated levels of all signs of inflammation, had much lower levels of HDL—the “good” cholesterol—and had lower levels of beta-carotene.

Researchers found that the lower the level of beta-carotene, the higher the level of interleukin-6, a pro-inflammatory molecule released by blood vessels under stress. Doctors said the relationship they found between low levels of beta-carotene and high levels of inflammation suggests that beta-carotene may protect against CAD and other vascular diseases by inhibiting inflammation. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant found in the bright pigment of fruits and vegetables.

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