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Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Vitamin C Eases Blood Pressure Increase During Exercise for PAD Patients

Older age is risk factor for P.A.D. Plaque builds up in arteries as you age. About 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has P.A.D.

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See videos and more information below news report.

Nov. 9, 2012 - Low antioxidant levels contribute to increased blood pressure during exercise for people with peripheral arterial disease, according to researchers at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute. PAD and high blood pressure are common among senior citizens.

Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, affects an estimated 10 million Americans and increases the chance of death from a cardiovascular event. Reduced blood flow causes pain in the legs and increases blood pressure in people who have PAD. However, the causes of the disease are unknown.

"Past studies have shown that having low antioxidant levels and increased reactive oxygen species -- chemical products that bind to body cells and cause damage -- is related to more severe PAD," said Matthew Muller, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Larry Sinoway's lab at Penn State College of Medicine, and lead author of the study.

 

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Antioxidants prevent the reactive oxygen species from damaging cells.

"This study shows that blood pressure increases more with exercise in more severe PAD cases. By infusing the antioxidant vitamin C into the blood, we were able to lessen the increase in blood pressure during exercise," said Muller.

Vitamin C does not lessen the increase in blood pressure of PAD patients to that of healthy people. As the intensity of exercise increases, the effects of vitamin C decrease but are still seen. The researchers report their findings in the Journal of Physiology.

Penn State Hershey researchers looked at three groups of PAD patients to study the blood pressure increase. A group of 13 PAD patients was compared to people without PAD to see the effects of doing low-intensity exercise on blood pressure.

From that group, a second group of nine patients was used to measure the effects of vitamin C. A third group of five PAD patients and five without PAD had their leg muscles electrically stimulated to remove the brain's role in raising blood pressure during muscle contraction in this disease.

Increased blood pressure during exercise occurs in both legs, before pain begins, and relates to the severity of the disease. By using electrical stimulation, the scientists show that the blood pressure increase comes from the muscle itself, since the brain is not telling the leg to contract and the pressure still increases.

"This indicates that during normal, everyday activities such as walking, an impaired antioxidant system -- as well as other factors -- plays a role in the increased blood pressure response to exercise," Muller said. "Therefore, supplementing the diet with antioxidants may help these patients, but more studies are needed to confirm this concept."

Other researchers are Rachel C. Drew, postdoctoral fellow; Cheryl A. Blaha, research coordinator; Jessica L. Mast, research coordinator; Jian Cui, associate professor of medicine; and Amy B. Reed, associate professor of surgery, all of Penn State College of Medicine.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


About Peripheral Arterial Disease

Also called: PAD

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) happens when there is a narrowing of the blood vessels outside of your heart. The cause of PAD is atherosclerosis. This happens when plaque, a substance made up of fat and cholesterol, builds up on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs. The plaque causes the arteries to narrow or become blocked. This can reduce or stop blood flow, usually to the legs, causing them to hurt or feel numb. If severe enough, blocked blood flow can cause tissue death. If this condition is left untreated, a foot or leg may need to be amputated.

A person with PAD also has an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and transient ischemic attack. You can often stop or reverse the buildup of plaque in the arteries with dietary changes, exercise, and efforts to lower high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Older Age

Older age also is a risk factor for P.A.D. Plaque builds up in your arteries as you age. About 1 in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has P.A.D. The risk continues to rise as you get older. Older age combined with other factors, such as smoking or diabetes, also puts you at higher risk for P.A.D.

Diseases That Put You at Risk

Many diseases and conditions can raise your risk of P.A.D., including

   ● diabetes. About 1 in 3 people older than 50 who has diabetes also has P.A.D.

   ● high blood pressure

   ● high blood cholesterol

   ● coronary heart disease (CHD)

   ● stroke

   ● metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors that raise your risk of CHD and other health problems, such as P.A.D., stroke, and diabetes).

A family history of these conditions makes P.A.D. more likely.

>> NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

>> NIH: Senior Health on PAD

>> Click to Video at Senior Health about PAD

About High Blood Pressure

Also called: Benign essential hypertension, Essential hypertension, HBP, HTN, Hypertension

About 72 million American adults -- nearly 1 in 3 -- have high blood pressure. Many people get high blood pressure as they get older. In fact, over half of all Americans age 60 and older have high blood pressure. However, getting high blood pressure is not a normal part of aging! There are things you can do to help keep your blood pressure normal, such as eating a healthy diet and getting more exercise.

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.

Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Usually they are written one above or before the other. A reading of

   ● 120/80 or lower is normal blood pressure

   ● 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure

   ● Between 120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number is prehypertension

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. You can control high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits and taking medicines, if needed.

>> NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

>> NIH: Senior Health on Hypertension

Dr. James F. Battey, Director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, swims on a regular basis and tells how exercise helps control his blood pressure.

>> Click to Video on Exercise and High Blood Pressure

 

Financial Relief for Volkswagen Diesel Owners

You may be eligible for money damages if you owned or leased one of these VW, Porsche or Audi vehicles.

In the major scandal of 2015, Volkswagen cheated you and the world. They rigged diesel emission controls so you, nor regulators, would know how much pollution their cars were adding to our environment.

They were caught and have reserved $7.3 billion to help "make it right" with victims.

If you owned or leased one of these vehicles, contact us now.

 Beth Janicek, Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney Janicek Law attorneys are actively pursuing these cases against VW. Do Not Wait...

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Vehicles Involved

VW Jetta (2009–2015)

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VW Beetle (2012–2015)

VW Passat (2012-2015)

Audi A3 (2010-2015)

VW Touareg (2009–2016)

Porsche Cayenne (2015)

Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 Quattro (2016)

 

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