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Hammer Supplements Provide the E You Need

Boosting vitamin E could lower blood pressure & protect against pneumonia

By Steve Born

Two recent studies - one dealing with blood pressure and the other pneumonia - suggest important additional benefits to vitamin E supplementation.

Of the many steps you can take to ensure healthy blood pressure levels, consuming a sufficient amount of vitamin E may be one of the easiest and most effective. Recent research published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology suggests an association between higher vitamin E intake and lower risk of hypertension.

Defining hypertension as systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or higher, diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or higher, or the use of an antihypertensive drug, Dr. Akiko Kuwabara and associates examined data from participants in Japan's National Health and Nutrition Survey 2007 - a total of 1,405 men and 2,102 women aged 40 and older. Participants' dietary records were analyzed for vitamin E intake as well as for other nutrients.

A 27% lower risk of hypertension was found for those whose vitamin E intake was among the top third of all subjects. For those in the middle third, the risk was 19% lower.

Vitamin E was clearly responsible for this beneficial effect; adjusting for increased intake of other nutrients known to lower blood pressure did not significantly affect the results.

"Oxidative damage and free radical production in the endothelium are closely involved in the pathogenesis of the atherosclerotic process which leads to cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Kuwabara. "Since vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with potent antioxidative activity and one of its main physiological roles is considered to be the inhibition of unsaturated fatty acid oxidation, vitamin E is a promising candidate against oxidative stress-induced unfavorable consequences."

Vitamin E and Pneumonia

In research reported in The Journal of Immunology, vitamin E played a significant role in protecting mice against pneumonia, a common lung inflammation that claims the lives of an estimated 60,000 people annually in the United States.

Tufts University School of Medicine researchers supplemented the diets of 4-month-old and 22-to-24-month-old mice with extra vitamin E (alphatocopherol) for four weeks prior to infecting them with the disease.

A control group did not receive extra vitamin E. Researchers then evaluated the vitamin's ability to regulate neutrophil (the most common type of white blood cell) responses in improving resistance to the illness.

The results: Two days after infection, the older mice in the control group had a 1,000-time greater bacterial burden and significantly higher levels of neutrophils in the lungs than the younger control mice. These effects were largely prevented in the older mice given the vitamin E; their neutrophils in the lungs were comparable to those of the younger control group.

Head researcher Dr. Elsa N. Bou Ghanem summarized, "Our research is the first study to demonstrate that dietary vitamin E regulates neutrophil entry into the lungs in mice, and so dramatically reduces inflammation, and helps fight off infection by this common type of bacteria." HN

HARNESS THE POWER OF VITAMIN E

Vitamin E-rich foods include sunflower seeds (37 IU per 1/2 cup), almonds (27 IU per 1/2 cup), peanuts (15 IU per 1/2 cup), avocado (4.6 IU per 1 cup cubed), spinach (5.5 IU per 1 cup cooked), and broccoli (3.4 IU per 1 cup cooked).

Clearly, it isn't easy to obtain the 400-1200 IU Optimal Daily Intake for vitamin E through diet alone. Several Hammer Nutrition products - particularly AO Booster, which contains all eight members of the vitamin E "family" - can help bridge the gap, ensuring that you get plenty of this heart-healthy vitamin.

AO Booster - Each capsule contains a 150-mg blend of tocopherols and a 50-mg blend of tocotrienols. Studies suggest that optimal health benefits are obtained via intake of a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols versus "regular" vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) only. One researcher writes, "While alpha-tocopherol has long been known as an important antioxidant, research has now shown that the complete vitamin E team is much more effective. The different vitamin E forms have complementary effects as free radical scavengers. Together they can fight a wider spectrum of free radicals than alpha-tocopherol alone."

Premium Insurance Caps - Each capsule supplies approximately 57 IU of vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol). A 3-capsule per day serving provides 171 IU of vitamin E; 7 capsules per day supply 399 IU of vitamin E.

Race Caps Supreme - Each capsule supplies 133 IU of vitamin E. Two capsules per day supply 266 IU of vitamin E; by consuming the suggested serving of 3-4 capsules on workout days, you get 399-532 IU of vitamin E.

Mito Caps - Each capsule supplies 12.5 IU of vitamin E. Consuming a 2-capsule serving on non-workout days will give you 25 IU of vitamin E; consuming 4-6 capsules on workout days will give you 50-75 IU of vitamin E.