VITAMINS AND CORONARY DISEASE

We hear a lot of beneficial effects about certain foods and certain nutrients like the antioxidants in preventing and combating heart disease. What are your feelings about these and what are your food recommendations, if you have any?
Well I think the only proven antioxidant is Vitamin E.

This is for heart disease?
For heart disease. We give eight hundred international units of Vitamin E per day.

Are there any foods that can help fight heart disease?
Unproven nutrients include the blue, green, and red vegetables like eggplant, for example. And grapes have what we call flavonoids in them, which are powerful antioxidants. And in fact you can get grape seed extract that has flavonoids. It’s a strong source of flavonoid.

Can you find these at a health food store?
Yes, and also pine bark, and pine nuts.

These would be O.K. for people to try?
As far as I know, it’s O.K., but they are unproven. The only antioxidant that’s been proven has been fish oil and Vitamin E. So that’s what I prescribe to people.

How about red wine?
The evidence is pretty strong that red wine is beneficial and again the benefit probably comes from the hull of the red grapes, of the dark grapes that they make the wine from.

So that would be O.K., a glass of red wine?
Yes, if you didn’t drink more than ten drinks a week of red wine plus all the other- you have to count all your other alcoholic beverages too. But a glass a day of red wine I think would be good for you, although it’s not scientifically worked out. But I think most people accept that that’s probably a good thing to do.

THE BIG PICTURE

Why do we hear so much about coronary artery disease today? Is it a bigger health problem now or are doctors just more aware of it?
No, I think it’s because we can do so much more about it. The incidence rate has actually been falling until the last two or three years; now that’s gone back up a little bit. But it’s been steadily falling since the 50’s. So it’s not like suddenly we’re all getting the disease. It’s always been there. You know it used to be more than fifty percent of people died of coronary disease. Now it’s down to say thirty six or thirty seven percent.

That actually die of it – the rest are living with it?
They have it and eventually die of it. It’s still the number one killer of the western world; it’s still the number one problem in both men and women.

Working at it through some of those techniques we mentioned about the diet, exercise, and regular screening?
People that need the treatment have to be identified some way. And you can take people that have had coronary or any form of atherosclerosis as the index population and then take the first degree relatives of those and you would be getting the high risk population right there. And then you would have to through doctor’s office checkups or in some way screen the rest of the population to pick the high risk people out of the rest. That’s the way I would see doing it. It seems workable.

Source: Ivanhoe News

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