2016 01 Active Winter

NAC, inflammation, and blood pressure

Chronic inflammation, including elevated homocysteine  levels, raises chances for heart disease. Earlier studies found B-vitamins can lower some inflammation factors, but not others. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant earlier studies found lowered homocysteine, and possibly blood pressure.

In this study, researchers reviewed two NAC studies, one with 40 men with elevated lipid levels, and the other with 42 men with normal lipids. Both studies included smokers and non-smokers. The dose was 1,800 mg of NAC per day, or a placebo, for four weeks.

Homocysteine levels decreased by 4.1 percent in the placebo groups and by 11.7 percent for those taking NAC, regardless of lipid levels or smoking. While blood pressure did not change in the placebo groups, systolic blood pressure decreased significantly in all NAC groups. Diastolic blood pressure decreased in men with elevated lipid levels who took NAC, but not in men with normal lipids.

CoQ10 with statin therapy 

Doctors most often prescribe statin drugs for lowering LDL cholesterol levels. One of the side effects is muscle pain, possibly due to lower levels of CoQ10, a naturally occurring antioxidant in every cell.

In this study, doctors reviewed eight placebo-controlled trials that measured the effect of statin therapy on CoQ10 levels. All of those taking statins had lower levels of CoQ10, regardless of which of the four types of statin drug they were taking.

A new study is underway, using a dose of 600 mg of CoQ10 per day, or a placebo, to determine if CoQ10 can reduce muscle pain in those on statin therapy.


Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; October, 2015, Published Online
Natural Insights for Well Being January 2016

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