The role of antioxidants in heart disease is also important. This is again shown in 2 recent studies.
One study suggests that having optimal anti-oxidant levels makes heart stents less likely to get blocked up.1
The second study suggests that high iron and copper levels and low zinc levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks.2 Iron and copper are oxidative (i.e., the opposite of antioxidants). The authors conclude, "Deficiency of zinc and high concentration of copper and iron may play a role in the development of heart disease."
All of these factors are already taken into account in a good multivitamin powder—which can help you stay heart healthy. It is very high in antioxidants, has an optimal amount of zinc (too much worsens HDL cholesterol), has very little copper (too little copper is also dangerous, so you want the right balance), and no iron.
This study was designed to determine whether red-cell oxidative stress status and antioxidant enzyme levels can serve as markers in patients predisposed to in-stent stenosis. Blood was collected from patient groups undergoing coronary angiography for chest pain evaluation, namely, group A (without coronary artery disease), group B (previous coronary stents without in-stent stenosis), and group C (previous coronary stents with in-stent stenosis). Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (measure of lipid peroxidation), glutathionelinked detoxification enzymes, catalase, and superoxide dismutase were determined. Compared with group A, patients in group C showed increased lipid peroxidation products and glutathione-S-transferase but decreased glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities. Results in group B patients were intermediate between those of groups A and C with significant decreases in glutathione peroxidase versus controls. In-stent stenosis is associated with significant increase in lipid peroxidation and attenuated glutathione-linked detoxification enzymes, consistent with oxidative stress.
Angiology 2008, doi:10.1177/0003319707309651; May 25, 2008. In-Stent Stenosis: Potential Role of Increased Oxidative Stress and Glutathione-Linked Detoxification Mechanisms
Praphul Misra, MD, Pratap C. Reddy, MD, Deepti Shukla, MD, Gloria C. Caldito, PhD, Lakshminarayan Yerra, MD, and Tak Yee Aw, PhD
2. "Distribution of zinc, copper and iron in biological samples of Pakistani myocardial infarction (1st, 2nd and 3rd heart attack) patients and controls," Kazi TG, Afridi HI, et al, Clin Chim Acta, 2008; 389(1-2): 114-9.