Your Road to Wellness

Posts by Dr. Sopler

What else can you do to improve your cognition other than pay attention to the food you eat?

Posted by on 10:31 am Anti-Aging, Cognition, Exercise, General Health, Health, Vigorous Activity, Wellness | 0 comments

 

You actually have quite a lot of control over how functional your brain is going to be.

Research has shown we can slow down memory loss and even improve our memory.

The food we eat is extremely important, but another tool we have is exercise.  Resistance exercise is especially effective.

The following study included 155 older women participating in resistance training 2 days a week for a year (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

They were compared with a group doing balance and toning twice a week and were evaluated at the beginning of the study, after 1 year and after 2 years.

Resistance training improved executive function compared to balance and toning. It also improved memory, reduced cortical white matter.

Atrophy verified on MRI and increased peak muscle power at 2-year follow-up. The balance and toning exercises did not do that.

Men and women doing resistance exercises 2-3 times a week for 6 months significantly improved overall cognitive function, with maintenance of executive and overall benefits over 18 months (Fiatarone Singh MA, et.al., 2014).

They were compared with a group doing seated calisthenics which did not result in the same benefits.

Doing resistance exercise twice a week does not require a lot of time and can help to keep your brain healthier.

That’s time well spent.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T. Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Fiatarone Singh MA, Gates N, Saigal N, Wilson GC, Meiklejohn J, Brodaty H, Wen W, Singh N, Baune BT, Suo C, Baker MK, Foroughi N, Wang Y, Sachdev PS, Valenzuela M. The Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) study—resistance training and/or cognitive training in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized, double-blind, double-sham controlled trial. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014 Dec;15(12):873-80.

 

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Can nuts improve insulin sensitivity even in diabetics?

Posted by on 5:17 am Diabetes, Diet, Eating, General Health, Insulin resistance, Nut consumption | 0 comments

It is important to be as insulin sensitive as possible.

When you are insulin sensitive, your insulin effectively transfers the glucose from you blood into the cells where you can use it for energy, and your blood glucose stays in a low and normal range.

 

Elevated blood glucose will cause problems because it will increase inflammation, free radicals and damage your tissue. That’s why people with diabetes are much more susceptible to chronic diseases.

High glycemic index carbohydrates will raise your blood glucose too high because this type of food is converted to sugar and absorbed fast. Especially flour (white bread), potatoes and white rice will do that, but foods like whole grain bread, at least the regular whole grain bread you normally get in the store, as well as brown rice, unless you have very little a one time, will do that also.

That’s why substituting those foods for something else can make a significant difference.

That is exactly what was done in the following study.

The research was carried out in a hospital research center.

A group of men and women with type 2 diabetes was put on one of three diets for 3 months (Jenkins DJA, et.al., 2018).

One group was put on a diet getting 477 calories from 75 grams of mixed nuts, one group got 471 calories from 3 whole wheat muffins, and one group got half a serving of the nuts and half a serving of the muffins.

The group consuming the 75 grams of nuts showed a reduction in Hemoglobin A1c, a marker of long term glucose control, compared to the group having the muffins.

Several cardiovascular risk factors also improved in group eating the 75 grams of nuts daily.

Nuts works better than whole grains if you want to improve your glucose control and cardiovascular risk factors.

75 grams of nuts are approximately 2 and a half handfuls of nuts.

Reference

Jenkins DJA, Kendall CWC, Lamarche B, Banach MS, Srichaikul K, Vidgen E, Mitchell S, Parker T, Nishi S, Bashyam B, de Souza RJ, Ireland C, Pichika SC, Beyene J, Sievenpiper JL, Josse RG. Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet: a reanalysis of a randomised controlled trial.Diabetologia. 2018 Aug;61(8):1734-1747.

 

 

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Can nuts reduce the formation of vascular plaque?

Posted by on 9:54 pm Antioxidents, Cholesterol, Diet, Eating, Fat, Health, Low glycemic meals, The Learn to Eat Plan, Wellness | 0 comments

 

Plaque formation in the vascular system is something we are better off without, not only because it will increase cardiovascular risk, but we need good blood circulation to all tissue we have. Blood vessels in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients have, for example, been found to have a lot of plaque.

What can we do to help reduce plaque formation?

A high nutrient, low-glycemic index plant-based diet is a good choice, but is it possible to only add one food, and see a significant reduction in vascular plaque?

That’s exactly what the researchers of the following study investigated.

They measured the internal carotid intima-media thickness and plaque height using ultrasound at the start and after an average follow up of 2.4 years(Sala-Vila A, et.al, 2014).

Carotid intima-media thickness is the thickness of the inner layer of the blood vessel.

The participants consumed a Mediterranean diet. One group added either virgin olive oil or 30 grams of nuts every day to their diet. The control group consumed a low fat diet.

These were the results:

Compared with the control diet, consumption of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts was associated with delayed progression of  intima-media thickness and plaque.

It is also interesting that there were no changes after the Mediterranean diet with the added virgin olive oil.

What could be the reason for that?

A good assumption would be that nuts contain nutrients the olive oil is missing, especially antioxidants.

Oil even if it is a good oil is not as good as natural unprocessed food.

30 grams of nuts is only one big handful.

Get in the habit of reducing your intake of grains and use some nuts instead. That will work a lot better for you (unless you are allergic to nuts). 

Reference

Sala-Vila A, Romero-Mamani ES, Gilabert R, Núñez I, de la Torre R, Corella D, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, López-Sabater MC, Pintó X, Rekondo J, Martínez-González MÁ, Estruch R, Ros E.Changes in ultrasound-assessed carotid intima-media thickness and plaque with a Mediterranean diet: a substudy of the PREDIMED trial.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Feb;34(2):439-45.

 

 

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 Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
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What factors are playing a role in Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease?

Posted by on 9:58 pm Alzheimer’s, Eating, General Health, Get in shape, Health Risk, Heart disease, Stay healthy, Wellness | 0 comments

Alongside oxidative stress and inflammation, altered cholesterol metabolism and hypercholesterolemia also significantly contribute to neuronal damage and to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (Gamba P, et.al., 2015).

Levels of  oxysterols derived from cholesterol oxidation and inflammatory mediators have been found to be increased in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients (Testa G, et.al., 2016).

Oxysterols, the major component of oxidized LDL is responsible for the increase in endothelial stiffness and is a key step in atherosclerosis development (Shentu TP, et.al., 2012).

When 70 people with mild cognitive impairment were compared with 140 normal individuals, oxysterol levels were significantly higher in the people with mild cognitive impairment (Liu Q, et.al., 2016).

Where do we find oxidized cholesterol?

Oxidized cholesterol are commonly found in foods with high cholesterol content, such as meat, egg yolk and full fatdairy products (Savage GP, et.al., 2002).

Factors known to increase the production of free radicals and therefore oxidized cholesterol in foods are heat, light, radiation, oxygen, moisture and the storage of food at room temperature.

Processes, such as pre-cooking, freeze-drying, dehydration and irradiation, have all been reported to result in increased production of oxidized cholesterol in meats.

What can you do to reduce oxidized cholesterol?

The most obvious way to do it is to avoid the foods that contain the oxidized cholesterol.

The best way to do that is to eat plant based foods, since animal source protein is where you find oxidized cholesterol.

It would also be beneficial to take S-Acetyl Gutathione and Curcumin to reduce free radical damage and inflammation further.

References

Gamba P, Testa G, Gargiulo S, Staurenghi E, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G.Oxidized cholesterol as the driving force behind the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Front Aging Neurosci. 2015 Jun 19;7:119.

Liu Q, An Y, Yu H, Lu Y, Feng L, Wang C, Xiao R.Relationship between oxysterols and mild cognitive impairment in the elderly: a case-control study.Lipids Health Dis. 2016 Oct 10;15(1):177.

Savage GP1, Dutta PC, Rodriguez-Estrada MT, Cholesterol oxides: their occurrence and methods to prevent their generation in foods. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2002;11(1):72-8

Shentu TP, Singh DK, Oh MJ, Sun S, Sadaat L, Makino A, Mazzone T, Subbaiah PV, Cho M, Levitan I.The role of oxysterols in control of endothelial stiffness.J Lipid Res. 2012 Jul;53(7):1348-58.

Testa G, Staurenghi E, Zerbinati C, Gargiulo S, Iuliano L, Giaccone G, Fantò F, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G, Gamba P.Changes in brain oxysterols at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease: Their involvement in neuroinflammation.Redox Biol. 2016 Dec;10:24-33.

 

 

Learn to Eat Program


 Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
you reduce inflammation and feel great.

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How and when does cardiovascular disease start?

Posted by on 8:55 pm Anti-aging, Cardiovascular Disease, Cholesterol, Eating, Fat, HDL, Heart disease | 0 comments

 

The clogged pipe analogy is the old, but outdated model of explaining cardiovascular disease which still is used most of the time because of lack of understanding and lack of exposure to research (Rothberg MB, 2013).

According to this model, cholesterol plaque in the arterial walls slowly reduce the opening of the artery, first causing decreased blood flow without symptoms, then it causes angina (chest pain), and eventually it results in an infarction.

Treatments based on this theory include both coronary bypass surgery and angioplasty opening the blood vessel with a stent or a balloon.

While a massive plaque eventually can close up an artery, a heart attack is usually caused by unstable plaque thatmay not be easily detected, but can rupture and form a clot.

This is what happens according to more in depth research.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) mainly produced in the liver may infiltrate the vascular endothelium (the inner wall of the blood vessel), where it can initiate a complex inflammatory response. This inflammatory response can lead to arterial remodeling, in which plaque growth within the vessel walls is accommodated by outward enlargement of the vessel.

In that case, large plaques may not reduce the opening of the blood vessel and are therefore hidden from angiography.

These plaques are particularly dangerous both because they are prone to rupture, they are unstable, and because before rupture they do not limit the blood flow and therefore do not induce formation of protective collaterals.

If the blood flow slowly gets restricted as in stable plaque, the body will compensate by making new blood vessels to support the area in need, that’s why stable plaque is less dangerous.

A lot of people apparently have several plaque ruptures in their vascular system without symptoms.These ruptures can heal and is later impossible to detect.

For these reasons it’s very difficult to use available scanning methods as reliable tools to predict  a deadly plaque rupture.

There is however strong evidence that addressing the extent and activity of the atherosclerotic burden and thrombosis-promoting risk factors will improve risk (Arbab-Zadeh A, et.al., 2015).

Oxidized LDL is especially damaging to the endothelium, the inner lining of the blood vessels (Gradinaru D, et al., 2015).

Oxidized LDL cholesterol is associated with early atherosclerosis (Calmarza P, et.al., 2014).

When does atherosclerosis start?

It start at a very young age.

Atherosclerosis varied from 17% in individuals less than 20 years old to 85% in people 50 years old or older (Tuzcu EM, et.al., 2001).

If you have children, this is something to keep in mind. It is very important to have a healthy diet even for a child.

References

Arbab-Zadeh A, Fuster V.The myth of the “vulnerable plaque”: transitioning from a focus on individual lesions to atherosclerotic disease burden for coronary artery disease risk assessment.J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Mar 3;65(8):846-855.

Calmarza P1, Trejo JM, Lapresta C, López P,LDL oxidation and its association with carotid artery intima-media thickness and other cardiovascular risk factors in a sample of Spanish general population.Angiology. 2014 Apr;65(4):357-62.

Gradinaru D, Borsa C, Ionescu C, Prada GI,Oxidized LDL and NO synthesis–Biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and ageing.Mech Ageing Dev. 2015 Nov;151:101-13.

Rothberg MB,Coronary artery disease as clogged pipes: a misconceptual model.Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2013 Jan 1;6(1):129-32.

Tuzcu EM1, Kapadia SR, Tutar E, Ziada KM, Hobbs RE, McCarthy PM, Young JB, Nissen SE.High prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis in asymptomatic teenagers and young adults: evidence from intravascular ultrasound.Circulation. 2001 Jun 5;103(22):2705-10.

 

 

Learn to Eat Program


 Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
you reduce inflammation and feel great.

Read more