In view of the winter season and Covid-19 pandemic, health experts on Saturday said that taking natural antioxidants may help keep the heart healthy along with other health benefits.
"We are a little worried about our health because those people get more affected by Covid who have heart related problems. During this situation at an individual level, you can work harder to protect ourselves by improving immunity and heart health," the experts said.
Experts suggest taking natural antioxidants like Gamma-oryzanol, a natural antioxidant found in rice bran which is also gaining popularity in India.
Most research shows that taking gamma oryzanol decreases total cholesterol, "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood fats called triglycerides in people with high cholesterol.
Gamma-oryzanol, a mixture of antioxidant compounds in the bran's oil fraction, is thought to play a role in reducing blood cholesterol levels, among other health-promoting benefits.
As Gamma-oryzanol is found to be effective in controlling high cholesterol level in the body, it is registered in Japan and the US as a natural medicine to treat hyperlipidemia (elevated cholesterol levels).
"Gamma-oryzanol is useful for controlling elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, supporting cardiovascular health along with controlling menopausal symptoms," Dr. Swapna Chaturvedi, senior dietician from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi, told IANS.
"Gamma-oryzanol helps lower cholesterol because it helps decrease cholesterol absorption and increases cholesterol elimination. Along with this it is also known to boost metabolic rate and may help with weight loss," Chaturvedi added.
According to Praveen Chandra, Head of Department, Interventional Cardiology, Medanta Hospital in Gurugram, Gamma oryzanol also helps in preventing heart attack by preventing platelet aggregation, a system where platelets blood gets stuck together and form clots that block arteries.
The experts stressed that people with weak hearts should be particularly careful during the winter season. Though they should continue to exercise regularly, they should modify their timings, so as to avoid extreme weather.
Salt and water intake should be reduced as there is no loss to sweating. With medications and lifestyle modification which include proper diet and exercise, heart patients can remain stable for a long period of time, they noted.