Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Can you 'C' yourself after a festive meal?

Sure you can see yourself--a little too full and a quite a bit sleepy. But oy, can you picture your arteries?

We're talking major arterial dysfunction here after a high-fat meal. The endothelial cells that line the blood vessels supplying oxygen-rich blood to the body ideally have the capacity to dilate these passages and increase blood flow as needed. When stunned by a load of saturated or trans- fats, these cells lose this ability, and those arteries already affected by atherosclerosis are most vulnerable to high-fat assaults.

Chinese cardiologists invited 124 patients down to the lab to chow mainly on high fat foods. Arterial function was measured before and after the meal, and half the group was pre-medicated with 2 gm of vitamin C before they dug in. Both participants with coronary artery disease and normal controls showed no change in vessel elasticity with vitamin C on board, but those who were C-less in Hunan showed a critical sproing in their springiness after the feast.

Experts estimate that most American women have cholesterol deposits in arteries by age 65. If you must eat high-fat food--and most of us indulge on occasion--chase your fat with a C!

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