If you’re suffering from heart or lung disease, it’s quite possible you’re struggling to breathe. If you have high cholesterol, your heart is struggling to pump blood through your vessels. And lung disease can make exercise almost impossible, which makes your heart even weaker. It’s a never ending cycle.
But there are a couple of nutrients that can bust up this cycle and move your health in a better direction. These nutrients will strengthen both your heart and lungs, help you breathe easier, and gradually increase your exercise tolerance.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that having high cholesterol puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease. If you suffer from it, your doctor has probably already given you this warning — and recommended that you take a statin to lower it. But according to research published last year in the journal Phytotherapy Research, there may be a better way — one that doesn’t involve the side effects of statins.
Chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of resveratrol. This powerful antioxidant has been popular for over 20 years for a couple of reasons. One is that it’s found in red wine, so it makes for a great headline – who doesn’t want to read an article entitled “Drink Wine, Live Longer”?
The second reason resveratrol is so popular is that it really does work. We’ve known for a while that resveratrol helps keep your heart healthy. There’s a lot of research confirming this. But there are more reasons to take resveratrol than just for your heart. In fact, new research shows how resveratrol can help you avoid an entire category of diseases that affect many women as they age.
Resveratrol Stops One of the Top Killers of Women
In this study, researchers evaluated the effects of red wine, as well as an extract made from soaking chopped onions in red wine. Both treatments were high in antioxidant activity, including resveratrol. They recruited 23 participants who had cholesterol over 180 mg/dl, but were otherwise healthy, to test the effects of the red wine and the onion extract for 10 weeks. Ten of the participants consumed the onion extract twice a day (125 ml at lunch and at dinner), while 13 more fortunate participants consumed the same amount of red wine.
Before, during, and after the study, the researchers measured a number of markers related to cardiovascular disease, including lipid levels, inflammation markers, antioxidant capacity, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL and LDL cholesterol.
The researchers found that antioxidant levels had increased in both groups by week six of the study. By week 10, both groups had much lower LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol even continued to drop slightly during the two-week follow-up period after the study ended. Both groups also had much lower levels of lipid peroxidation by the end of the study. There were only a few small areas in which the onion extract group fared better than the red wine group. And when the two substances were tested, their antioxidant levels were similar. This is good news if, like me, you think drinking a red wine and onion skin mixture sounds pretty unappealing.
While the thought of drinking red wine at lunch and at dinner probably sounds more intriguing, it’s obviously not wise to consume that much alcohol just to get some antioxidant benefits. It’s just better to focus on the antioxidants themselves.
Taking Care of Our Lungs
As women, we often recognize that we need to be vigilant about protecting our hearts. But we often forget to take equal care of our lungs. That’s a shame because lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer, are among the top killers of women. Many of us assume that if we don’t smoke, we’re in the clear, but unfortunately, air pollution – which is often unavoidable – is a major contributor to these conditions as well. The good news is that research indicates that resveratrol can help keep your lungs healthy too.
We often become more susceptible to lung diseases like COPD, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis as we age because lung function decreases. And, as you might imagine, inflammation makes breathing challenging as well. Fortunately, a number of studies have found that supplementing with resveratrol can help reduce inflammation related to asthma and COPD.
One study in particular, published in the journal Thorax, found that giving mice breathing treatments with resveratrol for three months slowed their age-related lung function decline and reduced their risk of developing chronic lung disease. Because the medical profession believes lung damage is irreversible, finding methods to slow it is essential to protecting lung function as we age. This study indicates that resveratrol can help.
Other studies point to resveratrol’s efficacy in fighting lung cancer. A study in Cancer Cell International found that exposing lung cancer cells to red wine inhibited their proliferation and decreased cell survival, even at low doses. A study in PLoS One had similar findings, suggesting that resveratrol helps slow tumor growth by inducing cell aging in lung cancer cells.
A review study published in the official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology confirmed that studies of resveratrol consistently show a statistically significant reduction in tumor incidence in lung cancer cases compared to the control participants. The researchers concluded that resveratrol has excellent potential as a lung cancer-fighting agent. Yet another study found that resveratrol is particularly good at fighting lung cancer when you combine it with curcumin than when either supplement was taken alone. The two seem to have synergistic effects that make them especially efficacious against this cancer.
Clearly, resveratrol is a powerful ingredient in maintaining good health as we age and protecting us from two of the major killers of women. People are usually happy to hear that the food sources of resveratrol include dark chocolate, and red wine. But while it’s certainly fine to enjoy these treats occasionally, I can’t endorse your consuming them in the amounts needed every day to get adequate amounts of resveratrol from them.
It’s much wiser to get resveratrol in supplement form so you don’t end up taking in excess fat, sugar, and alcohol that can quickly cancel out the health benefits of this antioxidant. Instead, consider taking Advanced Resveratrol Formula. In this supplement, resveratrol is blended with several other sources of polyphenol antioxidants — including turmeric, a source of curcumin — to supercharge its protective power and decrease inflammation throughout the body. You’ll breathe easier knowing it’s helping you protect your health as you age.
But Don’t Stop With Resveratrol and Curcumin
In addition to resveratrol and curcumin, there’s another nutrient that can help you protect your lungs from the inside out. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have been investigating the link between diet and lung function. In particular, they looked at intake of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid. You can find them in blue and purple fruits and vegetables like red grapes, blueberries, and eggplant, which are also high in resveratrol. They have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Research with lung tissue and with animals has found anthocyanins to be beneficial. So the researchers wanted to determine whether a link between diet and lung function existed. To do so, they looked at data from 463 people who took part in the second and third European Community Respiratory Health Surveys.
These surveys required participants to fill out questionnaires about their diets. They also required participants to take a lung function test called spirometry. Spirometry measures how much air you can forcefully exhale in one second (FEV1). It also measures how much air you can exhale after you take a deep breath (FVC).
Both FEV1 and FVC typically decline with age. But you want that decline to be as slow as possible. The good news is that anthocyanins seem to help with this.
The researchers divided the participants into four groups based on their anthocyanin intake. Those in the top group experienced FEV1 and FVC declines of 9.8 ml per year. But those in the bottom group fared much worse. Their FEV1 and FVC scores went down 18.9 ml and 22.2 ml per year, respectively.
Both people who had never smoked and those who had quit experienced benefits. Smokers, however, didn’t fare as well. So don’t think a bowl of blueberries will cancel out a cigarette.
Whether you’re a former smoker or have never smoked, it’s important to protect your lungs as you age. Eating anthocyanin-rich foods are a great way to do that. Or you can take Advanced Lung Support. It contains 500 mg of blueberries, so you’ll be able to get your anthocyanin fix even when blueberries aren’t in season. And it contains several other powerful antioxidants to support your lungs even more. It’s an easy way to defend your lungs from the inside out. Taking this supplement with Advanced Resveratrol Formula can double your body’s ability to protect your heart and lungs from disease.