Black Tea and Circulation

June 24, 2004

In 10 healthy men, Japanese researchers found that drinking black tea improved blood flow in the coronary arteries 2 hours after consumption. A caffeinated drink used for comparison didn't have the same effect - it wasn't the caffeine. The study is in the current issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Other nutrients that help improve blood flow to the heart include NAC, a combination of vitamin C and vitamin E, and the amino acid L-Arginine.

Astaxanthin Protects the Kidneys of Diabetic Mice

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid found in algae and fish. It is a much stronger antioxidant than its cousin Beta-Carotene and it does not change into vitamin A. In diabetic mice daily supplementation with Astaxanthin for 12 weeks decreased blood sugar, decreased oxidation of the kidneys, prevented damage to kidney cells and decreased the loss of protein in the urine. The study was published in Biofactors;20(1):49-59.

The Role of Nutritional Supplements in Infertile Men

Researchers found that sperm quality and sperm function improved with a combination of Zinc and Folic acid, or the carotenoid Astaxanthin, or a combination of L-Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine in a sugar-citric acid base. Astaxanthin and the Carnitine combination also increased intrauterine-assisted conception rates. The study was published in Reprod. Biomed. Online, Oct-Nov 2003;7(4):385-91.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

The Carotenoid Astaxanthin is proving to be invaluable for many conditions including fertility. Nutrients other than those mentioned above that are helpful with fertility include - L-Arginine, L-Glutamine, NAC, Vitamin E mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin C, Green Tea, Fish Oil Capsules, and Flaxseed Oil.

Carotenoids and Immune Function

Lutein, Lycopene, Astaxanthin and Canthaxanthin were as active and often even more active at stimulating the immune system to fight infections in both humans and animals. These carotenoids do not convert to vitamin A like Beta-Carotene does, so their immune protection works via different mechanisms. The study is published in the January 2004 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.