What nutritional supplements can you take to support healthy endothelium function?
I have already reviewed some of the reasons for endothelium dysfunction (buildup in the arteries) and how you can use food to help prevent or reduce it. So let’s take a look at what else you can do.
Plaque ( buildup in the arteries), especially the unstable plaque, will increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. We know that low grade inflammation and free radical damage are big risk factors making high cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol dangerous.
It makes sense for that reason to do what we can to reduce both low grade inflammation and free radical damage.
Not only does it make sense for the health of the cardiovascular system, but it may make you feel more comfortable, experience less pain and stiffness, and also make you feel better emotionally.
I will talk more about all the problems inflammation and excessive free radical damage may cause at a later date.
First let’s see what you can do to reduce inflammation.
Curcumin is an ingredient of the Indian spice Turmeric.
Curcumin is one of the most researched natural ingredients there is, and it has been documented to have anti-inflammatory effects by reducing the levels of some well known inflammatory cytokines like TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and CRP(Ren J, Sowers JR, 2014, Gupta SC, et al. 2013).
Why not use anti inflammatory drugs instead?
Anti inflammatory drugs will not reduce cardiovascular disease risk, they will instead increase the risk, that’s one of the side effects of these medications.
Here is an interesting study for you.
Post menopausal women were assigned to either a moderate exercise group for 8 weeks, a group taking curcumin orally for 8 weeks or a placebo group(Akazawa N, et al. 2012). Flow mediated dilation was measured before the start of the study and at the end as a way of evaluating vascular endothelial function, because declining endothelial function is associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk.
Surprisingly, flow mediated dilation increased equally in both the exercise group and the group taking curcumin.
I don’t suggest not exercising, I think the best solution would be to both exercise and to take curcumin, but that combination was not tested in this study.
There is however one problem with curcumin, it’s not well absorbed. I did not use curcumin before just for that reason, because the dose had to be so high that it would be impractical to take it. This however, has changed. There are now ways to make curcumin better absorbed so the daily dose to achieve results is not very high.
When 30 mg of regular curcumin powder was compared with 30 mg of a formula called Theracurmin, which used nano particles, the Theracurmin was absorbed 27 times better(Sasaki H, et al. 2011).
Now it is practical to use it. One capsule twice daily is all you need.
Akazawa N1, Choi Y, Miyaki A, Tanabe Y, Sugawara J, Ajisaka R, Maeda S. Curcumin ingestion and exercise training improve vascular endothelial function in postmenopausal women. Nutr Res. 2012 Oct;32(10):795-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Oct 15.
Gupta SC1, Patchva S, Aggarwal BB. Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials. AAPS J. 2013 Jan;15(1):195-218. doi: 10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8. Epub 2012 Nov 10.