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Your Road to Wellness

Cardiovascular Disease

What is TMAO, and why should you avoid it?

Posted by on 9:00 am Cardiovascular Disease, Diet, Eating, General Health, Health, Health Risk, Research | 0 comments

 

What is TMAO, and why should you avoid it?

 

The bacterial flora of the intestines convert choline into trimethylamine, which again is
converted into TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide) by the involvement of an enzyme from
the liver.

 

Choline is found in animal-derived products like eggs, dairy products, and meat.
The following study investigated the involvement of TMAO and major adverse cardiovascular
events (death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) during 3 years of follow-up in 4007 patients
(Tang WH, et.al., 2013).

 

 

The researchers found that increased plasma levels of TMAO were associated with an
increased risk of a major adverse cardiovascular event. An elevated TMAO level predicted an
increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events after adjustment for traditional risk
factors, as well as in lower-risk subgroups.

 

 

In other words, TMAO is an additional cardiovascular risk factor many are not aware of.
This research documents that TMAO triggers inflammation and is involved in the process of
forming atherosclerosis (Seldin MM, et.al., 2016).
The bacterial flora of people eating animal-derived products is producing TMAO, vegans and
vegetarians don’t produce much, because they have a different bacterial flora of the intestinal
tract (Koeth RA, et.al., 2019).

 

References:

Koeth RA, Lam-Galvez BR, Kirsop J, Wang Z, Levison BS, Gu X, Copeland MF, Bartlett D,
Cody DB, Dai HJ, Culley MK, Li XS, Fu X, Wu Y, Li L, DiDonato JA, Tang WHW, Garcia-Garcia
JC, Hazen SL. l-Carnitine in omnivorous diets induces an atherogenic gut microbial pathway in
humans. J Clin Invest. 2019 Jan 2;129(1):373-387.

Seldin MM, Meng Y, Qi H, Zhu W, Wang Z, Hazen SL, Lusis AJ, Shih DM. Trimethylamine
N-Oxide Promotes Vascular Inflammation Through Signaling of Mitogen-Activated Protein
Kinase and Nuclear Factor-κB. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 Feb 22;5(2). pii: e002767.

Senthong V, Li XS, Hudec T, Coughlin J, Wu Y, Levison B, Wang Z, Hazen SL, Tang
WH. Plasma Trimethylamine N-Oxide, a Gut Microbe-Generated Phosphatidylcholine Metabolite,
Is Associated With Atherosclerotic Burden. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Jun 7;67(22):2620-8.

The neurovascular system, oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. What can you do to protect yourself?

Posted by on 7:31 am Alzheimer’s, Cardiovascular Disease, Dementia, Nervous System | 0 comments

oxidative stress

 

It is very important to have a good blood supply to every tissue in the body.  All tissues, but especially the brain, depending on the good blood supply to function properly.  This is most important for the brain because it has a very high energy demand.

Neurons, glial cells, and blood vessels communicate with each other to regulate cerebral blood flow.

This study gathered information on the importance of oxidative stress as it relates to vascular changes observed in brain aging and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s (Carvalho C, Moreira PI, 2018).

One of the emerging causative factors associated with Alzheimer’s pathology is oxidative stress.  This Alzheimer’s-related increase in oxidative stress has been attributed to decreased levels of the brain antioxidant, glutathione (Saharan S, Mandal PK, 2014).

Glutathione protects cells against oxidative stress, and protecting brain endothelial cells under oxidative stress is key to treating cerebrovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (Song J, et.al., 2014).  The endothelium is the inner layer of the blood vessel wall.

The body makes glutathione, but it is making less as we get older, and that’s when we need more.

We can, however, take glutathione orally.   Regularly reduced glutathione which is the most common form you will find for sale is not very bioavailable, most of it is oxidized in the stomach and is not going to provide much protection.

You can instead take S-Acetyl Glutathione which gets into the cells and provides very valuable protection from free radical damage.

 

References:

Carvalho C, Moreira PI, Oxidative Stress: A Major Player in Cerebrovascular Alterations Associated to Neurodegenerative Events.Front Physiol. 2018 Jul 3;9:806.

Saharan S, Mandal PK. The emerging role of glutathione in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;40(3):519-29.

Song J, Kang SM, Lee WT, Park KA, Lee KM, Lee JE.Glutathione protects brain endothelial cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress by increasing nrf2 expression.Exp Neurobiol. 2014 Mar;23(1):93-103. 

 

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Can being exposed to heat help your memory, and reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

Posted by on 9:00 am Alzheimer’s, Cardiovascular Disease, Dementia | 0 comments

 

If you follow us regularly you saw that the stress of high heat as in sauna use provided protection against cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease and memory disorders share some of the same risk factors. Does that mean sauna use would provide some protection from Alzheimer’s disease as well? The following research investigated just that.

 

 

2,315 apparently healthy men aged 42-60 years at the start of the study, were followed for an
average of 20.7 years (LaukkanenT, et al., 2017). Of these men, 204 ended up being diagnosed with dementia and 123 were diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s disease. 4-7 sauna bathing sessions per week were found to be associated with lowered risks of
dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This was the same frequency of sauna use that helped prevent death from cardiovascular
disease. Sauna baths also make you very relaxed afterward. Give it a try.

 

Reference:
Laukkanen T, Kunutsor S, Kauhanen J, Laukkanen JA, Sauna bathing is inversely associated
with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged Finnish men. Age Ageing. 2017 Mar
1;46(2):245-249.

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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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Do you know about this important cardiovascular risk factor?

Posted by on 12:09 am Cardiovascular Disease, General Health, Supplements | 0 comments

This post is about a cardiovascular risk factor you may not have heard about, even though it may be one of the most important ones.

Research has indicated that oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a key factor in atherosclerosis.

This means that free radicals and the resulting inflammatory process are driving factors creating plaque in the vascular system.

The following study included 636 patients with suspected coronary artery disease, with an average follow-up period of 4.7 years (Blankenburg S, et.al., 2003).

The researchers found that the level of glutathione peroxidase 1 activity was significantly lower among those who died from cardiac causes or had a nonfatal myocardial infarction than among those who did not.

Glutathione is the major antioxidant that the body produces. Glutathione is also involved in liver detoxification and regulates immune function. It’s a very important substance.

It did not used to be any effective way to supply glutathione because the most common form, reduced glutathione, is oxidized in the stomach and does not provide benefits unless it is given with an IV.

However, now we have a very bioavailable form S-Acetyl Glutathione which gets into the cells where it is needed.

As we get older, we benefit from glutathione supplementation since the body produces less as we get older, and we use more, especially under certain circumstances.

Reference

Blankenberg S, Rupprecht HJ, Bickel C, Torzewski M, Hafner G, Tiret L, Smieja M, Cambien F, Meyer J, Lackner KJ; Glutathione peroxidase 1 activity and cardiovascular events in patients with coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med. 2003 Oct 23;349(17):1605-13.

 

 

 

Glutathione helps your cells reduce free radical damage and also helps lower inflammation.

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Reasons for eating a plant based diet

Posted by on 10:45 am Cardiovascular Disease, Diet, Eating, Fat, General Health, Health Risk, Vegetables, Wellness | 0 comments

There are many reasons why eating a plant based diet makes sense.  This research included 131, 342 participants. Of this, 85 013 were women (64.7%) and 46 329 were men (35.3%) (Song M, et.al., 2016).

The researchers found that high animal protein intake was positively associated with cardiovascular mortality, and high plant protein intake was inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.  Processed red meat was the most harmful form of animal protein these researchers found.

The type of fat we eat is also important because we react differently depending on the source.  We know that it is important to have a healthy endothelial function because the endothelium is the inner layer of the blood vessels.

 

We also know the importance of having low inflammation since that’s a risk factor for all chronic diseases and especially cardiovascular disease.   This study indicated that exchanging saturated fat from butterfat for a plant-based fat consisting of polyunsaturated fatty acids in a mixed meal may decrease inflammation after the meal when measured with the inflammatory markers IL-6 and TNF-alpha (Masson CJ, Mensink RP, 2011).  Soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, a protein related to the endothelium and a marker of atherosclerosis, was also decreased after the meal containing the plant-based fat.

 

References

Song M1, Fung TT2, Hu FB3, Willett WC3, Longo VD4, Chan AT5, Giovannucci EL.  Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality.  JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Oct 1;176(10):1453-1463. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4182.

Masson CJ, Mensink RP. Exchanging saturated fatty acids for (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids in a mixed meal may decrease postprandial lipemia and markers of inflammation and endothelial activity in overweight men. J Nutr. 2011 May;141(5):816-21. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.136432. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

 

 

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…