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Your Road to Wellness

Blood Pressure

How long does it take to reduce cardiovascular risk by changing what you eat?

Posted by on 9:00 am Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diet, Eating, General Health, Health, Health Risk, Research, Stay healthy | 0 comments

 

How long does it take to reduce cardiovascular risk by changing what you eat?

 

 

This research was conducted to investigate the effect on cardiovascular risk factors using only
food (McDougall J, et.al., 2014).
1615 people participated in this research.
The protocol was implemented for only 7 days, and measurements of weight, blood pressure,
blood sugar, and blood lipids were measured at the start of the study and 7 days later.
The participants consumed a low-fat (≤10% of calories), high-carbohydrate (~80% of calories),
plant-based diet.
Most antihypertensive and antihyperglycemic medications were reduced or discontinued at the
beginning of the study.

 

 

After 7 days the average weight loss was 1.4 kg, total cholesterol decreased by an
average of 29 mg/dl, systolic blood pressure decreased on average by 18 mm Hg,
diastolic blood pressure by an average of 10 mm Hg, and blood glucose by an average of
11 mg/dL.

 

 

This was implementing a plant based vegan diet.
Most people think it will take quite a while to see changes on laboratory tests from dietary
changes, but as you can see, that is not the case at all. You just have to follow an effective
protocol.

Reference:

McDougall J1, Thomas LE, McDougall C, Moloney G, Saul B, Finnell JS, Richardson K,
Petersen KM. Effects of 7 days on an ad libitum low-fat vegan diet: the McDougall Program
cohort. Nutr J. 2014 Oct 14;13:99. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-99.

Decrease your blood pressure by adding one good tasting item to your normal meals

Posted by on 4:22 pm Blood Pressure | 0 comments

It’s important to keep the blood pressure low as we get older. High blood pressure especially
increases the risk for stroke.Postmenopausal women often develop hypertension and arterial stiffness. For that reason the
following research included postmenopausal women who had started to experience increased
blood pressure (Johnson SA, et.al., 2015).
Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were evaluated and arterial stiffness was assessed at the
start of the study and at the end. This was an 8-week, randomised double-blind
placebo-controlled trial. The participants received either 22 g of freeze-dried blueberry powder
or 22 g of control powder.

After 8 weeks, the systolic and diastolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the group
that took the blueberry powder, and arterial stiffness had also improved.

Nitric oxide levels improved significantly in the blueberry group whereas there were no changes
in Nitric oxide levels in the placebo group. Nitric oxide relaxes the muscles in the blood vessels
and improves blood circulation.
This may be the reason blueberries lowered the blood pressure.
Eating blueberries every day is a good idea. If it is difficult to find fresh ones, you can usually
find frozen blueberries.

Reference:
Johnson SA, Figueroa A, Navaei N, Wong A, Kalfon R, Ormsbee LT, Feresin RG, Elam ML,
Hooshmand S, Payton ME, Arjmandi BH.
Daily blueberry consumption improves blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal
women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled
clinical trial.J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Mar;115(3):369-77.

 

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Is there an effective way to lower blood pressure without medications?

Posted by on 12:13 pm Anti-aging, Blood Pressure, Blood triglycerides, Flaxseeds, Health Risk | 0 comments

 

It is very common–even if it is not necessary–to see that the blood pressure is increasing with age.   With medications, blood pressure usually comes down, but it may still not be as low as we would like it to be. Blood pressure medications also comes with side effects.

What else can we do?

A low glycemic index high nutrient diet and regular exercise would make a big difference, but there is also something else you can do which has shown to reduce blood pressure as effectively as medication for those with high blood pressure. It is also simple to implement.

This is the research.

The study examined the effects of daily ingestion of flax seeds on systolic and diastolic blood pressure (Rodriguez-Leyva D, et.al., 2013).  It was a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, 110 patients ingested a variety of foods that contained 30 g of milled flax seed or a placebo each day for 6 month.

After 6 months the systolic blood pressure was 10 mm Hg lower and the diastolic pressure was 7 mm Hg lower in the flax seed group compared to the placebo group.

For the participants that had a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher, it was an even better response with a reduction of 15 mm Hg for systolic pressure and 7 mm Hg reduction for diastolic pressure for those who ingested the flax seeds.

You can buy organic raw flax seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder for 10-15 seconds.

Either add them to different foods, or just put them in a glass, add some water and drink it down. It’s as easy as that.

Reference

Rodriguez-Leyva D, Weighell W, Edel AL, LaVallee R, Dibrov E, Pinneker R, Maddaford TG, Ramjiawan B, Aliani M, Guzman R, Pierce GN.Potent antihypertensive action of dietary flaxseed in hypertensive patients.Hypertension. 2013 Dec;62(6):1081-9.

 

 

 

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Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
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Do you want to react less to anxiety provoking stimuli?

Posted by on 1:55 am Anti-Aging, Blood Pressure, Breathing, Happiness, Meditation, Stay healthy, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

The world can be a stressful place, and that is most likely not going to change anytime soon.

The solution is to get to a state where we are not affected much by things that cause most people to react with anxiety.

Is that possible or just wishful thinking?

According to the following research it is possible with practice.

In this study, participants who practiced Loving-Kindness Meditation were compared with a group new to meditation (Chen C, et.al., 2018).

Both groups were exposed to anxiety provoking images as well as images to evoke happiness. They had their anxiety scores assessed and their amygdala scanned for a reactivity response.

This is what the researchers found.

The participants that had practiced meditation longer had a weaker amygdala response to fear and also lower anxiety scores.

The same group also had a stronger positive functional connectivity with the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to happiness.

The vagus nerve may be a part of the neurophysiological response to meditation (Gerritsen RJS, Band GPH, 2018).  It is well worth it to take time to regularly practice meditation.

References

Chen C, Chen YC, Chen KL, Cheng Y. Atypical Anxiety-Related Amygdala Reactivity and Functional Connectivity in Sant Mat Meditation. Front Behav Neurosci. 2018 Dec 4;12:298.

Gerritsen RJS, Band GPH, Breath of Life: The Respiratory Vagal Stimulation Model of Contemplative Activity. Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 Oct 9;12:397.

 

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Do normal LDL cholesterol levels protect us from cardiovascular disease?

Posted by on 10:48 am Blood Pressure, Body fat, Cardiovascular Disease, Cholesterol, Diseases, Eating, Fat, General Health, HDL, HDL Level, Health, Health Risk, Heart disease | 0 comments

The correct term for LDL is Low-Density Lipoprotein and it is also called the “bad cholesterol” because LDL tends to create plaque in the arteries and atherosclerosis.

There are however different opinions about the risk of cholesterol and LDL.

I think you will find the following research data interesting.

What most laboratories are reporting as normal for LDL cholesterol are values below 99 mg/dl and it used to be even higher than that.

Let’s take a closer look at that. What do so-called “normal” people die from?

They die from cardiovascular disease in western societies. Knowing that, do you really want to be normal?

The normal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol range is 50 to 70 mg/dl for native hunter-gatherers, healthy human babies, free-living primates, and other wild mammals (all of whom do not develop atherosclerosis (O’Keefe JH Jr, et.al., 2004).

The same researchers stated that no major safety concerns have surfaced in studies that lowered LDL to this range of 50 to 70 mg/dl.

There is a consistent relative risk reduction in major vascular events in patient populations starting as low as an average of 63 mg/dL and achieving levels as low as a median of 21 mg/dL, with no observed offsetting adverse effects (Sabatine MS, et.al., 2018).

The only factor required to cause atherosclerosis is cholesterol (Benjamin MM, Roberts W, 2013).

Other factors like genetics (1 in 500), cigarette smoking, diabetes, overweight, inactivity and stress will not by themselves form plaque. They will, however, contribute to and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease if cholesterol and LDL are elevated. This is according to what Benjamin MM and Roberts W reported at the at the 39th Annual Williamsburg Conference on Heart Disease.

What can you do to keep cholesterol and LDL low?

A low glycemic index, high nutrient, plant based diet will do that for most people.  Statin drugs will also do it, but it is preferable to use food.

References

Benjamin MM, Roberts WC.Facts and principles learned at the 39th Annual Williamsburg Conference on Heart Disease.Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2013 Apr;26(2):124-36

O’Keefe JH Jr, Cordain L, Harris WH, Moe RM, Vogel R.Optimal low-density lipoprotein is 50 to 70 mg/dl: lower is better and physiologically normal.J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Jun 2;43(11):2142-6.

Sabatine MS, Wiviott SD, Im K, Murphy SA, Giugliano RP.Efficacy and Safety of Further Lowering of Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Patients Starting With Very Low Levels: A Meta-analysis. JAMA Cardiol. 2018 Sep 1;3(9):823-828.

 

 

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

Read more…

 

 

What damage can high blood sugar and oxidative stress cause?

Posted by on 10:33 am Blood Pressure, Bloodsugar, Energy, General Health, Glucose, Health, Stress, Supplements, Wellness | 0 comments

It is common knowledge that having high blood sugar levels is damaging to our health, but in what way is it harmful to us?  

Having high blood glucose levels causes oxidation of glucose and a reaction causing glycation of proteins.  These reactions cause tissue damage and create a lot of free radicals. This also decreases the activity of superoxide dismutase–which is the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.  This decrease in antioxidant activity again will increase the oxidative stress in a seemingly endless cycle.

This oxidation and glycation reaction chain has shown to alter the mitochondria–which are the energy-producing entities of the cell–and has shown to be involved in a variety of diseases (Edeas, et. al., 2009).  The damaged mitochondria will produce less ATP (energy) than a normal mitochondria. Additionally, the damaged mitochondria cannot use glucose or lipids in a normal way. This means that a person with high blood sugar is unable to produce as much energy as they should.  

So what can be done to offset the production of these advanced glycation-end products?  The researchers of this study show that curcumin could suppress the advanced glycation-end products and also stimulate the synthesis of glutathione (Stefanska, 2012).

It is also important to eat food with a high nutrient content and low glycemic index, but you can take curcumin to help reduce damage from higher glucose levels. Just be sure that the curcumin you take is well absorbed since regular curcumin is not.  

Taking S-Acetyl Glutathione is also an excellent way to get protection from the negative effects of elevated blood glucose, it works really well.   Taking regular glutathione is not effective since it is oxidised in the stomach and not very bioavailable. Don’t waste your money.

References

Edeas, M, et al. “Maillard Reaction, Mitochondria and Oxidative Stress: Potential Role of Antioxidants.” Pathologie Biologie, Academic Press, 23 Dec. 2009, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0369811409001898.

Stefanska, B. “Curcumin Ameliorates Hepatic Fibrosis in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – Insights into Its Mechanisms of Action.” Addiction & Health, British Journal of Pharmacology , Aug. 2012, europepmc.org/articles/PMC3448887.

 

 

 

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