23 Apr 2007

Vitamins benefit divers' health

Vitamin doses can reduce ill-effects of scuba diving on divers' circulation, a study suggests.

The scientists from Croatia and Norway gave vitamins C and E, which work as antioxidants, to divers, the Journal of Physiology reported.

The vitamins stopped ill-effects of the dive on the cells lining blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure and other associated diving problems.

But diving experts said the vitamins would have a limited impact.

"The intervention showed a positive effect" said Ante Obad, lead researcher

The researchers, from the University of Split School of Medicine in Croatia and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology carried out the study on seven professional divers before a 30-minute, 30-metre dive.

They performed two dives 24 hours apart, with doses of vitamins C and E administered two hours before the second one.

Six of the divers took part in a second trial eight months later, in which some were given antioxidants while others received a dummy pill.

The team found that antioxidant treatment prevented endothelial dysfunction, which stops the cells lining blood vessels working properly, causing high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is relatively common in divers and can lead "

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