Your Road to Wellness

Cardiovascular Disease

Magnesium is Even More Important than We Used to Think

Posted by on Brain, Cardiovascular Disease, Eating, Gastrointestinal Health, General Health, General Health, Health, magnesium, Vitamin D | 0 comments

Research is documenting how functions, organs, and nutrients are all interconnected. We cannot look at anything as separate entities anymore if we are going to get an accurate impression of what happens physiologically from the input of nutrient intake as well as exercise. The GI tract is one example where researchers have documented communication between the GI tract and the brain. We know the brain also communicates with the GI tract.

Intestinal absorption and subsequent metabolism of a nutrient, to a certain extent, is dependent on the availability of other nutrients.

The following research is showing us how the intake and the impact of magnesium are affecting vitamin D levels.

Image result for magnesium

Magnesium assists in the activation of vitamin D because all of the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D seem to require magnesium (Uwitonze AM, Razzaque MS, 2018).

Deficiency in either of these nutrients is reported to be associated with skeletal deformities, cardiovascular diseases, and the metabolic syndrome.

The next study indicates the same thing. The researchers found that higher intake of magnesium resulted in higher blood levels of 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), which is the most reliable way to measure vitamin D status (Deng X, et.al., 2013).

They also found associations of serum 25(OH)D with mortality, particularly due to cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer, and they were modified by magnesium intake. Magnesium has shown to reduce calcification of the arteries (Hruby A, et.al., 2014).

This means that if you must take a very high amount of vitamin D to keep your vitamin D level in a good range, you most likely need magnesium. If you take enough magnesium in a well-absorbed form, you should not need to take high amounts of vitamin D to keep it at a good level. What we also learn from research like this, is how important it is to take magnesium or any of the other common minerals in a formula that combines these minerals, since they affect each other. Amino acid chelates are the best form to take minerals because they are better absorbed and better tolerated. They don’t cause gastrointestinal irritation.

 

 

References
Deng X, Song Y, Manson JE, Signorello LB, Zhang SM, Shrubsole MJ, Ness RM, Seidner DL, Dai Q. Magnesium, vitamin D status and mortality: results from US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 to 2006 and NHANES III. BMC Med. 2013 Aug 27;11:187.

Hruby A1, O’Donnell CJ2, Jacques PF1, Meigs JB3, Hoffmann U4, McKeown NM5. Magnesium intake is inversely associated with coronary artery calcification: the Framingham Heart Study. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2014 Jan;7(1):59-69.

Uwitonze AM, Razzaque MS. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2018 Mar 1;118(3):181-189.

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This has Shown to Improve Memory, and it is Easy to Implement

Posted by on Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Brain, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, General Health, Health, Inflammation, Memory | 0 comments

Image result for low grade inflammationLow grade inflammation, the type of inflammation you usually don’t know you have, is harmful for all tissue, including the brain. Curcumin found in the spice turmeric has been shown to decrease inflammation and was for that reason studied to determine if it could provide protection for the brain.

40 participants were given either curcumin in a bioavailable form twice daily or a placebo for 18 months (Small GW, et.al., 2018). The participants did not have dementia, and the researchers found that taking curcumin twice daily, improved their memory and attention.

PET scanning suggested that the improvements were associated with a decrease in amyloid and tau accumulation in brain areas regulating mood and memory. Image result for amyloid and tau alzheimers brain

Amyloid and tau accumulation are usually found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Earlier research with another bioavailable form of curcumin showed that 1 hour after taking the curcumin, the participants experienced significant improvement in attention and working memory (Cox KH, et.al., 2015).

Taking a capsule twice a day is very easy and something everybody can do.

References
Small GW1, Siddarth P2, Li Z2, Miller KJ2, Ercoli L2, Emerson ND2, Martinez J2, Wong KP2, Liu J2, Merrill DA2, Chen ST2, Henning SM2, Satyamurthy N2, Huang SC2, Heber D2, Barrio JR2. Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month Trial. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2018 Mar;26(3):266 277.

Cox KH1, Pipingas A1, Scholey AB2. Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population. J Psychopharmacol. 2015 May;29(5):642-51.

Better Curcumin

Curcumin is a good antioxidant, but it is especially effective in helping to reduce inflammation. For these reasons, curcumin provides many health benefits.

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Your Blood Glucose Level after You Eat can Affect Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease.

Posted by on Bloodsugar, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Eating, General Health, Glucose, Health, Heart disease | 0 comments

Your blood glucose level after you eat can affect your risk for cardiovascular disease. Several studies show a correlation between blood glucose levels and what happens to your arteries. The most common ways to evaluate the blood glucose metabolism is to measure fasting blood glucose and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Hemoglobin A1c is usually used to monitor long-term glucose control, 2-3 months.

Image result for blood glucoseMore and more research is, however, documenting the importance of also knowing what the blood glucose level is after a meal, and that is not checked routinely.

In the following study, the participants were divided into 4 groups based on coronary angiography (Sasso FC, et.al., 2004). One group had no significant stenosis (calcification), the other groups had documented disease in 1 and up to 3 vessels. Several tests were performed to evaluate the glucose metabolism, including the glucose and insulin levels after eating.

For patients with a so-called normal glucose tolerance, it was interesting that the most important test correlating with cardiovascular risk was the glucose level after eating, and the next was Hemoglobin A1c.

In patients with coronary artery disease the researchers showed that even with normal Hemoglobin A1c levels, the participants with an abnormal glucose tolerance test (glucose after a meal) had greater progression of coronary artery lesions (Wang H, et.al., 2014).

It was not even a difference in risk between patients with an impaired glucose tolerance and patients who had type 2 diabetes. This shows that you don’t have to have progressed to having diabetes to have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Researchers have found that there is a linear relationship between the risk of cardiovascular death and the 2-hour glucose tolerance test (Leiter LA, et.al., 2005).

Image result for cardiovascular disease and glucose level

The 2 -hour glucose tolerance test measures the blood glucose level 2 hours after a test drink has been ingested.

These researchers found increased mortality at an oral 2-hour glucose tolerance test of approximately 90 mg/dl which is well below the level of what type 2 diabetes patients have.

Research is showing us that what we used to think of as normal and good test results are not good enough. That’s probably why we see a lot of people dying from a cardiovascular disease with laboratory values in the normal range.

References
Leiter LA, Ceriello A, Davidson JA, Hanefeld M, Monnier L, Owens DR, Tajima N, Tuomilehto J ; International Prandial Glucose Regulation Study Group. Clin Ther. 2005;27 Suppl B:S42-56.

Sasso FC, Carbonara O, Nasti R, Campana B, Marfella R, Torella M, Nappi G, Torella R, Cozzolino D, Glucose metabolism and coronary heart disease in patients with normal glucose tolerance. JAMA. 2004 Apr 21;291(15):1857-63.

Wang H, Tang Z, Li X, Hu B, Feng B. Angiographic evaluation of the effects of glucose metabolic status on progression of coronary artery lesions in patients with coronary artery disease. J Diabetes. 2014 Nov;6(6):541-6.

 

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This was found to be the most important risk factor for atherosclerosis.

Posted by on Cardiovascular Disease, Eating, Eating, General Health, Health | 0 comments

If you want to function well and stay healthy, you need a vascular system that can provide good blood supply to all tissue in your body, especially your brain and heart.

The reason is that the blood provides nutrients and oxygen to the whole body. Without that, all tissue will degenerate.

You can imagine what that would mean to your brain and heart.

As we get older the more likely it is that the blood vessels will start to collect deposits and get narrower, that’s called atherosclerosis.

There are several blood tests used to determine the risk for cardiovascular disease.

 

What you really want to know is the health of your arteries.

The following research is very interesting. It included 4184 participants without what’s considered to be conventional cardiovascular risk factors (Fernandez-Friera L, et.al., 2017). The status of their vascular system was evaluated by ultrasound detected carotid, iliofemoral and abdominal aortic plaques and coronary artery calcification. The researchers also included a lot of different blood tests as well as lifestyle evaluation.

 

Plaque or coronary artery calcification was present in 49.7% of the participants.

The real value of this study is the identification of the most relevant risk factor which was found to be LDL cholesterol.

The results indicate that atherosclerosis in both men and women develops above an LDL cholesterol threshold of approximately 50 to 60 mg/dl. This is much lower than what was thought necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system.

This means that if you want to have arteries free of deposits, you need to implement a diet and lifestyle that has shown to do that.

This is not impossible and does not have to be that difficult.

 

What you eat is the most important factor.

When people eating a high protein, low carbohydrate diet for one year were compared with a group eating a plant-based diet also for a year, this was the results.

All the participants were evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the study using myocardial
perfusion imaging, echocardiography and several blood tests (Fleming RM, 2000).

The group eating the plant-based diet improved their cardiovascular function and had less plaque in their arteries a year later when measured.

The group eating a high protein, low carbohydrate diet had more plaque than when they started a year ago, and risk factors for cardiovascular disease like fibrinogen a clotting factor, Lp(a) and CRP an inflammatory marker were all worse.

 

References

Fernández-Friera L1, Fuster V2, López-Melgar B3, Oliva B4, García-Ruiz JM5, Mendiguren J6, Bueno H7, Pocock S8, Ibáñez B9, Fernández-Ortiz A10, Sanz J11. Normal LDL-Cholesterol Levels Are Associated With Subclinical Atherosclerosis in the Absence of Risk Factors. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Dec 19;70(24):2979- 2991. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.10.024.

Fleming RM1. The effect of high-protein diets on coronary blood flow. Angiology. 2000 Oct;51(10):817-26.

 

 

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If you don’t get enough of this mineral it could increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Posted by on Cardiovascular Disease, General Health, Health | 0 comments

A lot of people may think that they need to completely change their life style to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, and they don’t want to do that.

If you have an unhealthy lifestyle, I would absolutely recommend that you make changes, but sometimes you can actually reduce your risk for serious disease very easily.

The researchers in the following study show us an easy way to reduce the risk of death from coronary heart disease (Kieboom BC, et.al., 2016).

 

9820 participants, both men and women, were followed for an average of 8.7 years. The results showed that low serum magnesium was associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death. It also accelerated atherosclerosis (increased thickness of the inner lining of the carotid artery wall) and affected the heart rate.

Getting deposits in the arteries are not good, but this did not explain the increased risk of dying, so there is even more to the beneficial effects of magnesium than this research can explain.

Magnesium’s ability to stop already established vascular calcification has been documented in a laboratory study and was associated with magnesium transport through the cell membrane (Montes de Oca A, et.al., 2014).

There are several studies showing that magnesium can reduce artery calcification. This one showed decreased arterial calcification as the magnesium intake increased when measured with Computed Tomography (Hruby A, et.al., 2014).

Magnesium is best absorbed in the form of an amino acid chelate and is not causing gastrointestinal irritation like magnesium oxide is known to do

 

References

 

Hruby A, O’Donnell CJ, Jacques PF, Meigs JB, Hoffmann U, McKeown NM, Magnesium intake is inversely associated with coronary artery calcification: the Framingham Heart Study. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2014 Jan;7(1):59-69.

Kieboom BC, Niemeijer MN, Leening MJ, van den Berg ME, Franco OH, Deckers JW, Hofman A, Zietse R, Stricker BH, Hoorn EJ. Serum Magnesium and the Risk of Death From Coronary Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Death. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 Jan 22;5(1).

Montes de Oca A, Guerrero F, Martinez-Moreno JM, Madueño JA, Herencia C, Peralta A, Almaden Y, Lopez I, Aguilera-Tejero E, Gundlach K, Büchel J, Peter ME, Passlick-Deetjen J, Rodriguez M, Muñoz-Castañeda JR. Magnesium inhibits Wnt/β-catenin activity and reverses the osteogenic transformation of vascular smooth muscle cells. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 25;9(2):e89525.

 

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Decreasing Inflammation is 1 Important Way to Increase Your Life Expectancy

Posted by on Anti-Aging, Antioxidents, Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular disease & waist-hip ratio, General Health | 0 comments

The process of atherosclerosis is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and involves deposits of fat and especially LDL cholesterol into the blood vessel wall (Salisbury D, Bronas U, 2014).

These researchers state that when the LDL cholesterol gets deposited into the vascular wall it can oxidize and cause injury creating inflammation which drives the atherosclerotic process.

Higher levels of chronic low-grade inflammation result in a stronger inflammatory response.

 

Low-grade inflammation which you may not be aware of needs to be kept low, as an important way to increase your life expectancy.

To decrease low-grade inflammation, let’s look at what can contribute to it.

Highly processed, nutrient depleted food will cause a spike in the blood glucose and fat shortly after it is eaten.

This results in increased free radicals and inflammation together with other factors which increase the risk for cardiovascular disease (O’Keefe JH, et.al., 2008).

The increase in blood glucose, free radicals and inflammation will last for several hours. That’s important to keep in mind if you eat these types of meals several times a day, it results in elevated levels of these substances throughout the day.

 

The best solution would be to eat minimally processed, high fiber, plant-based food. Vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and a few berries are excellent choices.

 

Just adding some nuts after a meal may provide good benefits. 

When 60 g of raw almonds were added to a meal consisting of white bread, the almonds reduced the increase in blood sugar and insulin (Jenkins DJ, et.al., 2006).

It was the antioxidants the almonds contained that was responsible for the benefits.


References:

Salisbury, D., & Bronas, U. (2014). Inflammation and immune system contribution to the etiology of atherosclerosis: mechanisms and methods of assessment. Nursing Research63(5), 375-385.

Jenkins, D. J., Kendall, C. W., Josse, A. R., Salvatore, S., Brighenti, F., Augustin, L. S., … & Rao, A. V. (2006). Almonds decrease postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, and oxidative damage in healthy individuals. The Journal of nutrition136(12), 2987-2992.

O’Keefe, J. H., Gheewala, N. M., & O’Keefe, J. O. (2008). Dietary strategies for improving post-prandial glucose, lipids, inflammation, and cardiovascular health. Journal of the American College of Cardiology51(3), 249-255.