Nutritional Supplements That Could Be Damaging Your Heart

Antioxidants are generally though of as a ‘good thing’. We try to eat foods that contain them in mass without much thought as to what these antioxidants actually are. Researchers from the University of Virginia however have identified one antioxidant which is commonly found in many nutritional and bodybuilding supplements which can potentially damage the heart and lungs if prolonged usage exists.

The Dangers of N-acetylcysteine

”Antioxidants are supposed to fight cancer and slow the aging process, but according to researchers certain supplements such as ‘SuperPump250’ and ‘Amp’d’ contain an antioxidant called N-acetylcysteine that damages the heart and lungs. Animal studies showed that the substance fools the body into thinking it isn’t getting enough oxygen, causing the arteries in the lungs to thicken, blood pressure to rise, and the right side of the heart to swell.”

Despite the findings this antioxidant is commonly used in drug therapy for various ailments such as acetaminophen overdose, excessive mucus, and certain forms of renal failure. The finding is really only associated with high doses of N-acetylcysteine and the long-term effects of moderate to small doses are undetermined. For those however who err on the side of caution, check with your supplement’s label or manufacture and make sure N-acetylcysteine is not present.

Findings such as these might make one wonder what is present in the various foods they eat or drink, for instance the antioxidant properties of wine or blueberries. We all speak of antioxidants as if they were interchangeable or as if they were one thing when in fact they each are different and could be responsible for very different reactions in the body. Though most of these reactions are positive it might be noted that the reactions of some of them could affect some people differently based on their body’s unique variability.

  • The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Sept. 2007

  • Best Life, Dec ‘07

Leading Causes of Death

Heart Disease is easily the leading cause of death in America. One of the major contributors to heart disease is cholesterol. See the following posts for more on lowering your risk for heart disease:

How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels Naturally

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