Nancy Dell: Vitamin mimics exercise benefits; soy and thyroid health

Vitamin C lowered the harmful protein that constricts blood vessels

1. I am overweight & can’t exercise. What can I do with my diet to help my cardiovascular health?
T. J., Internet

Overweight adults are advised to exercise to improve their health, but more than 50 percent do not do so. New research from the University of Colorado suggests that taking vitamin C supplements daily can have similar cardiovascular benefits as regular exercise in these adults. The blood vessels of overweight adults have levels of a protein that constricts blood vessels increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Exercise can reduce this harmful protein in blood vessels.

Vitamin C has been reported to improve blood vessel function. So, researchers gave participants 500 milligrams of time-released Vitamin C a day. They found the Vitamin C lowered the harmful protein that constricts blood vessels as much as walking did. This is no reason to cut back exercise if you can exercise. But for those who can’t, talk to your doctor about supplementing with vitamin C.

You can get 500 milligrams of Vitamin C from food with some effort. For example, 1 cup of yellow bell pepper plus 2 cups of Kale would do it.

2. I drink soy milk and eat edamame every day. Can too much soy be bad for my thyroid?
Gail, Internet

According to experts at Tufts University, it may be a problem if you are deficient in the mineral iodine. Iodine deficiency is becoming more common in older Americans and eating soy food is becoming more common. This combination may increase the risk of thyroid problems.

So first be sure you eat adequate iodine commonly found in scallops, cod, yogurt, milk and eggs. If you have an underactive thyroid, the American Thyroid Association recommends you that should wait four hours after taking your thyroid hormone replacement before consuming any soy products.

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