Folic acid is a B complex vitamin that decreases the risk of birth defects, reduces levels of
homocysteine - an artery inflamming metabolite, and helps keep cells on the road to normalcy
instead of on the road to neoplasia. In this study, forty-one men with normal or high-normal blood
pressure (systolic pressure of greater than 130 to over 145 and diastolic pressure of greater than
80 to over 90) were randomly placed on 5mg of folic acid daily or a placebo for 3 weeks, then they
were crossed-over after a 4 week washout period. The folic acid supplement reduced brachial pulse
pressure (pressure in the arm) by 3.1 to 6.7 mm Hg, and large arteries complied with changes in blood
pressure more easily. The improvement in brachial pressure and the decrease in large artery stiffness
was fairly independent of folic acid plasma concentratuions and homocysteine levels. The folic acid
was a safe and effective supplement at 5mg a day in these men that targets large artery stiffness and
resistance and may prevent isolated systolic hypertension. The study was conducted at the Baker Heart
Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and is published in the July 2005 issue of the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Aging and bedrest after an injury cause muscle loss, Protein Amino Acid supplementation prevents the muscle wasting
When muscle isn't used. such as during convalescence from a serious illness or injury, and also due
to aging, it leads to serious muscle loss. These researchers have previously demonstrated that muscle
loss during inactivity or due to aging is worse when accompanied by stress, specifically high levels
of the adrenal hormone cortisol. Taking a protein supplement during convalescence can prevent the
muscle wasting due to inactivity. Taking a protein supplement containing the essential amino acids
found in muscle causes an anabolic stimulus of muscle protein manufacture and thereby prevents
significant muscle loss. A recent study shows that giving 28g of this protein during a 28 day period
of bed rest actually improved muscle nitrogen. This prevented a decrease in lean body mass (how well
you look and how well your clothing fits depends on your lean body mass) and the shrinking of muscle.
The protein supplement also decreased the negative effects of stress and high cortisol levels that
usually causes muscle loss and a contribution to truncal obesity. The researchers say that although
the supplement was very helpful during the period of high cortisol that it may be necessary to add
another anabolic stimulus. The research was performed at the Department of Surgery, University of
Texas Medical branch, and Shriners Hospital for Children, Galveston, Tx. and is published in the July
2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the journal of the American Society for Nutritional
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