Children with high levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) are at risk for heart disease later in life. Many of these children have an inherited lipid disorder, hyperlipidemia. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have found that antioxidant supplements can increase the health of the cardiovascular system in children with inherited lipid disorders.

The findings are part of the EARLY (Endothelial Assessment of Risk from Lipids in Youth) trial, a five-year study sponsored by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). The findings are reported in the journal, Circulation, September 11,2003.

Antioxidant supplements are those that protect the body from damage from oxidizing chemicals (oxidative stress). Examples of antioxidant nutrients are vitamins A, C and E.

Past research has shown that diets rich in fresh fruits and vegetables lower the risks of heart attack and strokes in adults. These foods are high in natural antioxidants.