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Selenium and vitamin E boost circulation

Selenium increases blood flow

There is a thin, single layer of cells that lines the blood vessels, called the endothelium, which allows fluids and cellular material to pass from the bloodstream to the tissues. The endothelium also controls the ability of blood vessels to expand and contract, and is very sensitive to oxidative stress. Age, weight, lipids, high blood pressure and other factors can impair endothelial function.

In this study, doctors measured endothelial function, total antioxidant status, and selenium levels in 141 participants with high blood pressure. Those with lower selenium levels had stiffer blood vessels—impaired endothelial function—compared to those with higher selenium levels. The same was true for those with lower, rather than higher, total antioxidant status.

Selenium levels independently predicted antioxidant status, and doctors said the selenium level was a more accurate predictor of endothelial function than total antioxidant status.

Reference: Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology; April, 2020, Vol. 75, 103332

Vitamin E improved diabetic neuropathy

In diabetes, chronic high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves, impairing movement and feeling, often in the legs and feet. In this study, 80 participants with this type of diabetic peripheral neuropathy took a placebo or 200 mg of tocotrienol-rich vitamin E twice per day.

After eight weeks, those taking vitamin E had significantly increased nerve-signaling speed in the leg calf muscles and in the adjacent tibial bone motor nerves. There was also an increase in levels of a protein—nerve growth factor (NGF)—which maintains, regulates production, and protects the survival of certain neurons.

Discussing the findings, doctors said this is the first clinical trial to demonstrate tocotrienol-rich vitamin E improves diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Reference: Nutrients; 2020, Vol. 12, No. 5, nu12051522

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