This Antioxidant Could Keep Blood Vessels Healthy

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Nutritional supplements containing a specific antioxidant could reduce heart disease risk in older adults, according to results of a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and published in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association.

This study involved 20 healthy men and women 60 to 79. For six weeks, half of the study participants took a dietary supplement called MitoQ, which is made by chemically altering a naturally-occurring antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, to make it cling to structures in cells known as mitochondria, and half took a placebo (inactive dummy pill). After six weeks, the researchers assessed blood vessel health by measuring arterial dilation with increased blood flow.

Study participants took no supplements for two weeks and then the groups switched for six weeks and the tests were repeated. According to researchers, the dietary supplement improved arterial health by 42 percent, which translates to a 13 percent lower risk of heart disease. This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).