This supplement may promote healthy arterial aging

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A small pilot study of older people suggests that taking a daily supplement of a nutrient that is present naturally in foods may improve artery health and blood pressure.

A certain type of supplement may promote healthy arterial aging and reduced blood pressure.

The researchers, at the University of Colorado Boulder, found that the supplement — called nicotinamide riboside — mimics some of the effects of caloric restriction and activates several identical biological pathways.

Studies of caloric restriction — which have been done mainly in rodents and fruit flies and not so much in humans — indicate that reducing daily calorie intake by a third may delay the aging process and lengthen lifespan.

The new study found that taking nicotinamide riboside supplements significantly improved blood pressure in people with mild hypertension, or elevated blood pressure.

Should the results be confirmed in a larger clinical trial, the researchers think that they could have important implications in biomedicine, such as increasing treatment options for elevated blood pressure.

Elevated blood pressure and stage 1 high blood pressure are now defined as a blood pressure of 120/80 or 139/89 millimeters of mercury, respectively, which — although is not high enough to justify medication — is high enough to raise the risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Currently, the recommended options for people with elevated blood pressure include changes to diet and increasing physical activity.

Senior study author Doug Seals, who is a professor and researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology, and his colleagues report their findings in a paper due to be published in the journal Nature Communications.

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Jean

Author Since:  June 23, 2024

MD is an orthopedic surgery specialist in Folsom, CA and has been practicing for 28 years. She specializes in orthopedic surgery.

• Hahnemann University
Medical School | Graduated 2000
• Methodist / Mercy General
Internship Hospital | Completed 2001
• Methodist / Mercy General
Residency Hospital | Completed 2003

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