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Moderate exercise, supplements may prevent atherosclerosis

Moderate exercise, supplements may prevent atherosclerosis
Source: HeartCenterOnline

May 27 (HeartCenterOnline) - A combination of moderate exercise and two common dietary supplements may significantly reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis, according to results of a new UCLA study.

Led by Louis J. Ignarro, recipient of the 1998 Nobel Laureate in medicine, a team of UCLA researchers found that moderate activity and dietary supplements boosted the production of nitric oxide in mice that were genetically predisposed to developing heart disease.

Nitric oxide is a compound that helps the inner lining of blood vessels to dilate, which lowers blood pressure and helps the arteries deliver oxygen more effectively. Nitric oxide also boosts the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells.

Moderate exercise has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels within the body. Researchers found that the effect of nitric oxide was magnified when supplements were added ¿ the amino acid L-arginine and the antioxidant vitamin C and E.

Ignarro, professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at UCLA, and his team had found that these two supplements protected blood vessels from inflammation and plaque build- up.

The results of the current study are published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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