Your Road to Wellness

Cardiovascular Disease

Reduce your risk of heart attacks by adding one food to your meals

Posted by on 9:53 pm Cardiovascular Disease, Eating, Health | 0 comments

 

Research shows adding one food reduces the risk for heart attacks by 38%.

Sometimes you can get big benefits by making small changes.

There are several studies showing that just adding legumes to your meals can lower your cardiovascular risk. The results of this particular study found that only 1 serving of cooked beans per day, which is one third cup, lowered the risk for myocardial infarction with 38% when compared with those eating less than 1 serving per month (Kabagambe EK, et.al., 2005).

Consuming 130 g of beans per day which is slightly more than 1 serving, lowered LDL cholesterol significantly compared to those not eating any beans (Ha V, et.al., 2014).

An average of 19 years follow-up showed that legume consumption 4 times or more per week compared with less than once a week, was associated with a 22% lower risk of coronary heart disease (Bazzano LA,
et.al., 2001).

Beans have also been found to improve circulation in the legs when impaired from a decrease in blood
flow due to the presence of atherosclerotic plaque (Zahradka P, et.al., 2013). When ½ cup of legumes
per day were consumed by participants for 8 weeks, they saw a 5.5% increase of the ankle-brachial
index, with total and LDL-cholesterol reduced by 5.0%. The ankle-brachial index is used to measure
circulation in the legs.

Apparently, you don’t even have to eat a lot of beans to realize these benefits.

References
Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, Loria C, Vupputuri S, Myers L, Whelton PK. Legume consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study.

Ha V, Sievenpiper JL, de Souza RJ, Jayalath VH, Mirrahimi A, Agarwal A, Chiavaroli L, Mejia SB, Sacks FM,
Di Buono M, Bernstein AM, Leiter LA, Kris-Etherton PM, Vuksan V, Bazinet RP, Josse RG, Beyene J, Kendall CW, Jenkins DJ. Effect of dietary pulse intake on established therapeutic lipid targets for cardiovascular risk reduction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. CMAJ. 2014 May 13;186(8):E252-62.

Kabagambe EK, Baylin A, Ruiz-Narvarez E, Siles X, Campos H. Decreased consumption of dried mature beans is positively associated with urbanization and nonfatal acute myocardial infarction. J Nutr. 2005 Jul;135(7):1770-5. Arch Intern Med. 2001 Nov 26;161(21):2573-8.

Zahradka P, Wright B, Weighell W, Blewett H, Baldwin A, O K, Guzman RP, Taylor CG. Daily non-soy legume consumption reverses vascular impairment due to peripheral artery disease. Atherosclerosis. 2013 Oct;230(2):310-4.

 

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The Danger of Oxidized Cholesterol and How to Avoid It

Posted by on 12:31 am Cardiovascular Disease, Eating, General Health | 0 comments

The danger of oxidized cholesterol and how to avoid it.

Maybe you have read that there is no reason to worry about cholesterol being high, because we need cholesterol, and there is no evidence that it will cause cardiovascular disease.

There is however a lot of evidence showing the danger of certain types of cholesterol. Circulating oxidized LDL cholesterol was found to be associated with all stages of atherosclerosis, from early atherogenesis to hypertension, coronary and peripheral arterial disease, acute coronary syndromes and ischemic cerebral infarction (Trpkovic A, et.al., 2015).

A high waist circumference has been associated with high concentrations of oxidized LDL independently of body mass index (Weinbrenner T, et.al., 2006).

What kind of foods contain oxidized cholesterol?

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

Certain procedures will also increase the oxidation of cholesterol. Heat, light, radiation, oxygen, moisture, low pH, certain pro-oxidizing agents and the storage of food at room temperature will increase the production of cholesterol oxides in foods. Pre-cooking, freeze-drying, dehydration and irradiation, have all been reported to result in increased production of cholesterol oxides in meats. These are methods used by the food industry to prevent bacterial contamination and to increase the shelf life of these products.

How do you reduce your exposure to oxidized cholesterol?

The most effective way is to avoid eating the food where oxidized cholesterol is found.

References
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.
Trpkovic A, Resanovic I, Stanimirovic J, Radak D, Mousa SA, Cenic-Milosevic D, Jevremovic D, Isenovic ER. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein as a biomarker of cardiovascular diseases. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2015;52(2):70-85.
Weinbrenner T, Schröder H, Escurriol V, Fito M, Elosua R, Vila J, Marrugat J, Covas MI. Circulating oxidized LDL is associated with increased waist circumference independent of body mass index in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jan;83(1):30-5; quiz 181-2.

 

 

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Magnesium is Even More Important than We Used to Think

Posted by on 9:24 pm Brain, Cardiovascular Disease, Eating, Gastrointestinal 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 11:26 am 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 11:19 am 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 4:55 pm Cardiovascular Disease, 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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