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Health Line


ANTIOXIDANTS are unlikely to do much to help smokers avoid cardiac disease, according to
new study findings.

While, vitamins C and E have been touted as antioxidants that may reduce atherosclerosis (the build-up of plaque in the arteries), investigators have found they actually do very little to combat the detrimental effects of smoking.

"Just quit smoking," advised Dr. Cindy Fuller from the University of North Carolina at
Greensboro, lead author of the study. Smokers are at high risk for premature heart disease because the re of free radicals while smoking is associated with the oxidization of LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. This 'bad' cholesterol leads to hardening of the arteries.

Some previous research had shown that taking antioxidants could reduce this effect. One test by Fuller and colleagues showed that vitamin E had a small beneficial effect. but vitamin C did not alter the LDL, at all. Two other tests found neither that vitamin made a difference. Two separate tests by the researchers to measure oxidation of white, blood cells, a more specific test thought to reflect what is happening in the body, did not indicate any positive changes from the intake of antioxidants.

"Based on the results of this small study, the only way for young smokers to reduce oxidative damage to the vasculature by tobacco is to quit smoking rather than to take antioxidant vitamin supplements," the researchers said.

As reported in Business Line News Service

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