Olive Fats, high HDL, and Vitamin E may all protect from peripheral vascular disease

May 01, 2006

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to disease of the blood vessels outside of the heart and brain. It often occurs in the blood vessels of the arms and legs and can cause pain when exercising or walking. The blood vessels are partially or completely blocked and the tissues do not get an adequate supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients. PVD contributing to poorly healing leg wounds is a major reason why diabetics are at risk for getting a limb amputated especially if they smoke. It is thought that PVD affects about 20% of adults over the age of 56 and it affects about 10 million Americans.

In this study researchers assessed the diet and nutrient intake of 1251 home dwelling adults whose average age was 68. In this study three dietary factors stuck out as decreasing the risk of developing PVD. Consuming high quality olive lipids decreased the risk by 60 percent. Having a high level of HDL was very protective with every 10mg/dl increase in HDL decreasing risk by 24%. Having a good intake of Vitamin E on a daily basis cut the risk by a whopping 63%. The study appears in the May 2006 issue of the journal Atherosclerosis.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Yesterday we reported that taking a combination of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and ibuprofen prevented the onset of Alzheimer's disease in patients who inherited a gene from their parents that puts them at high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids plus Vitamin E may interact to prevent Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Motor neurons are nerves in the brain and spinal column that control muscles that allow you to move, breathe, speak, and swallow. In ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) motor neurons progressively deteriorate eventually leading to muscle weakness and muscle loss. Death usually occurs within 2 to 5 years after symptoms appear.

In this study the dietary intake of 132 individuals with ALS was evaluated, it was also compared to dietary intake of individuals who were ALS free. It was found that people diagnosed with ALS had a much lower intake of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs; these refer to omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids) and Vitamin E and that combining high intake of PUFAs along with Vitamin E cut the risk of developing ALS by 50% to 60%. The study appears in the May 2006 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.