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Commensal Organisms Can Protect Against Pathogenic Bacteria

Recent studies published in Science Immunology and Science have shown how a commensal intestinal bacterium produces an enzyme that can help protect against pathogenic bacteria.

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Antioxidants Alone Will Not Stop Heart Disease

According to a new study, taking big doses of antioxidant vitamins will have no effect in preventing heart disorders. The study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, involved over 8,000 women who used supplemental vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, singly or in combination thereof, or placebo. All female participants were identified as having a preexisting heart condition and took these vitamins close to 10 years.

The research revealed that there was little variance between women who took vitamins and those who took a placebo as it relates to the incidence of heart attacks. The only notable feature was the decrease in stroke incidence, which was found in women who supplemented with vitamins C and E.

Researchers have been motivated to look into the use of antioxidants for its perceived overall health effects, particularly in preventing heart problems, since free radical damage is popularly known to contribute to artery blockage. As antioxidants avert free radical damage, the researchers wanted to ascertain if these vitamins are the logical solution to protecting the heart from various diseases.

Vitamin supplements are vital to maintaining good health because there are antioxidants that are not generally found in our daily diet. The researchers added that there are ongoing clinical trials that focus on creating comprehensive antioxidant supplements that will effectively fight cardiovascular disease.

Until these supplements are fully researched, developed and produced in appropriate dosage forms, the fight against the risk of heart disease should be primarily focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle through good diet and regular exercise. Weight control is another important aspect of health living as well as cessation of tobacco smoking, stress reduction and minimizing trans- and low-saturated fats.

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