Lutein and zeaxanthin – new links to cardiovascular health!

Foods rich in highly colored pigmens of red, orange, and yellow are rich sources of carotenoids

Lutein is a yellow-to-orange pigment or phytochemical found mostly in plants and works as an antioxidant in your body to reduce the damage done by free radicals. Lutein is a carotenoid and is related to vitamin A. Other carotenoids include beta carotene, alpha carotene and zeaxanthin.

The first research to show a positive connection between the carotenoid lutein to heart health came in a 2001 issue of Circulation (vol. 103, pp. 2922- 2927). Now researchers from Sweden have found yet another strong link. Publishing in the February 2006 issue of Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease (doi: 10.1016/numecd.2006.02.2006) the researchers pointed out that people suffering from coronary artery disease are consistently found to have low levels of the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta cryptoxanthin. Conversely, they found that the healthy persons in the control group had significantly higher levels of these carotenoids in their blood. They think it’s connected to immune function because of higher levels of natural killer cells (NK cells) in the people with higher levels of these carotenoids. “This finding suggests a specific link between certain carotenoids, oxidative stress, and immune perturbation imbalance in Cardiovascular Disease,” said lead researcher Caroline Lidebjer from the University Hospital at Linkoping, Sweden.

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About Nutrients that keep blood pressure normal

In an effort to draw attention to the dramatic increases in chronic disease world-wide, the World Health Organization (WHO) in its report, “Preventing Chronic Disease - A Vital Investment”, pointed that chronic disease, world-wide, is increasing faster than the rate of population growth! In 2005, 60% of all deaths, about 35 million, were attributed to chronic disease. By 2015, they expect that number to rise by 17% to 41 million! One of these chronic diseases is cardiovascular disease - a disease linked to high blood pressure, which the WHO reports kills an estimated 17 million people worldwide every year. At the root of this problem is poor nutrition. Many people are just not consuming foods with sufficient levels of nutrients capable of helping our bodies fight off diseases and keep us healthy. As a way to help people improve their diet and reduce incidences of chronic diseases (particularly those linked to high blood pressure), we decided to write this blog in an attempt to highlight nutrients that are important in maintaining normal blood pressure levels. We have also included research findings to back our claims. Also featured are dietary supplements that contain the essential nutrients in much higher levels than those found in ordinary food for best results. Feel free to leave your comments or contact us in case you have any queries. Also kindly support our cause by buying any of the featured dietary supplements.
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