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Improve cognition and physical performance at the same time

Posted by on 3:00 pm Cognition, Eating, Energy, Exercise | 0 comments

Adding one thing can sometimes give you more than one benefit.

This research was conducted to find out if dietary nitrate supplementation would improve exercise performance and cognitive function during a prolonged intermittent sprint test (Thompson C.,et.al., 2015).

16 male team-sport players received either 140 ml a day of beetroot juice high in nitrate or a placebo beetroot juice low in nitrate for 7 days.

Using a stationary bike they repeatedly performed several 6 seconds “all-out” sprints with 100 seconds active recovery and 20 seconds of rest, while simultaneously performing cognitive tasks. The test went on for two 40 minutes “halves” simulating team sports.

The beetroot juice high in nitrate improved sprint performance compared with the placebo juice and also improved reaction time of response to the cognitive tasks.

In another study when the participants exercised for 6 weeks and either drank beetroot juice or a placebo drink,  the exercise and beetroot group had brain networks that more closely resembled those of younger adults (Petrie M, et.al., 2017).

When 450 ml beetroot juice was compared with a placebo drink cognitive performance was improved on a subtraction task 90 minutes later (Wightman EL, et.al., 2015). These results show that single doses of dietary nitrate can modulate the prefrontal cortex cerebral blood-flow response to task performance and potentially improve cognitive performance.

References

Thompson C, Wylie LJ, Fulford J, Kelly J, Black MI, McDonagh ST, Jeukendrup AE, Vanhatalo A, Jones AM. Dietary nitrate improves sprint performance and cognitive function during prolonged intermittent exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Sep;115(9):1825-34.

Petrie M, Rejeski WJ, Basu S, Laurienti PJ, Marsh AP, Norris JL, Kim-Shapiro DB, Burdette JH. Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Sep 1;72(9):1284-1289.

Wightman EL, Haskell-Ramsay CF, Thompson KG, Blackwell JR, Winyard PG, Forster J, Jones AM, Kennedy DO. Dietary nitrate modulates cerebral blood flow parameters and cognitive performance in humans: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover investigation. Physiol Behav. 2015 Oct 1;149:149-58.

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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.

 

 

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

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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.

 

 

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

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Is Saturated Fat Bad For You?

Posted by on 9:20 am Cardiovascular Disease, Cholesterol, Diet, Eating, Eating, Fat | 0 comments

 

It is important to know the facts about saturated fat, because there are different opinions on this topic.

 

If you get it wrong, there may be serious health consequences as a result.

 

I think you agree that it is important to have a healthy cardiovascular system, because the blood is supplying the tissue with nutrients. It is especially important for the heart. Any chance that the blood supply to the heart gets compromised, you will be in big trouble.

 

If somebody claims that saturated fat is healthy, and it will not increase your cholesterol, a reference with good evidence should be provided. Moreover, if the author is not providing any evidence, or is referring to an article in the popular press, the author is only presenting his or her opinion.

 

You need evidence in the form of research published in a medical journal.

 

Even if the research is published in a medical journal, it may still not be designed well and could be biased. That’s why you will always find references with a link to the original abstract in the articles I write, to make it easy for you check the facts.

 

I have not found any reliable research so far supporting that saturated fat is healthy. I have however found studies showing that saturated fat is increasing cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, the most harmful type. This means that saturated fat will increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.

 

In a very recent research, 92 men and women were put on a diet. The first group has a diet which consisted of high in saturated fat from either cheese or butter. Some of them are on a diet high in monounsaturated fat or polyunsaturated fat. Moreover, the remaining participants were in a low-fat diet high in carbohydrates. Each of the group had the diet for 4 weeks. This is what was found (Brassard D, et.al., 2017).  

 

LDL cholesterol increased the most after the butter diet, even more than after the cheese diet. Both the butter and the cheese diet increased the LDL more than the high carbohydrate diet. The diets are also high in monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.  

 

The following research is a summary of 12 studies. It also compared butter with cheese, and found the following. Cheese intake lowered LDL when compared to butter, but when compared to tofu, it increased LDL (de Goede J, et.al., 2015). This is the same as saying butter increased LDL more than cheese, and both butter and cheese increased LDL more than tofu.     

 

The HDL cholesterol, which has been considered protective for cardiovascular disease, was increased after the butter and cheese diets. It was significantly higher than for the carbohydrate diet. This may look like a benefit until you look at this study published in one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world the Lancet (Voight BF, et.al., 2012).

 

When people with genetically high HDL were compared with people without these genes, it did not seem to lower the risk of myocardial infarction.  

 

What would be found if people with genetically low LDL were examined? This has been done.  That particular study was published in another of the world’s most prestigious medical journals (Cohen JC, et.al., 2006).

 

It was found that people with genetically low LDL had a substantial reduction of coronary events. This is still the case even in the populations with a high prevalence of other non- cholesterol risk factors.

 

In another research, men with low cholesterol levels at the start were followed for many years. They had an estimated increased life expectancy of 3.8 to 8.7 years (Stamler J, et.al., 2000).

 

Research shows us that saturated fat from animal sources is not good, it will increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.

 

The good news is that you can control that to a large extent by changing what you eat. By doing so, you can produce the results you want.


References:

Stamler, J., Daviglus, M. L., Garside, D. B., Dyer, A. R., Greenland, P., & Neaton, J. D. (2000). Relationship of baseline serum cholesterol levels in 3 large cohorts of younger men to long-term coronary, cardiovascular, and all-cause mortality and to longevity. Jama284(3), 311-318.

Voight, B. F., Peloso, G. M., Orho-Melander, M., Frikke-Schmidt, R., Barbalic, M., Jensen, M. K., … & Schunkert, H. (2012). Plasma HDL cholesterol and risk of myocardial infarction: a mendelian randomisation study. The Lancet380(9841), 572-580.

de Goede, J., Geleijnse, J. M., Ding, E. L., & Soedamah-Muthu, S. S. (2015). Effect of cheese consumption on blood lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition reviews73(5), 259-275.

Brassard, D., Tessier-Grenier, M., Allaire, J., Rajendiran, E., She, Y., Ramprasath, V., … & Jones, P. J. (2017). Comparison of the impact of SFAs from cheese and butter on cardiometabolic risk factors: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition105(4), 800-809.

Cohen, J. C., Boerwinkle, E., Mosley Jr, T. H., & Hobbs, H. H. (2006). Sequence variations in PCSK9, low LDL, and protection against coronary heart disease. New England Journal of Medicine354(12), 1264-1272.


Learn To Eat Program:

Recommendations that work. Improve your memory with the food you eat. This is not a regular diet program

Does it matter how we cook our food?

Posted by on 11:36 am Eating | 0 comments

Yes, how food is prepared can make a big difference.

Heat-processed foods contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) (Uribarri J, et al. 2010).

AGEs are produced when glucose and protein react with each other, and they are known to contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation.

Oxidative stress and inflammation are again linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and also other chronic conditions.

Certain foods generally have higher levels of AGEs and are even more susceptible to new AGEs formation when cooked.

This is especially true for animal derived foods that are high in fat and protein.

Vegetables, fruit, beans and grains contain a lot fewer AGEs; this holds true even after they have been cooked.

The most damaging way to cook is dry heat. This increases the AGEs formation by10-100 folds compared to the uncooked food.

Does this mean that we have to eat everything raw?

No, not all food (even if the food is healthy) can be eaten raw.

This has been shown to decrease the AGEs formation significantly.

Cooking with moist heat at lower temperatures for a shorter time, and also using acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar.

While the brown color of grilled or baked chicken or the brown crust of bread may look appealing to you, it is not healthy.

Uribarri J1, Woodruff S, Goodman S, Cai W, Chen X, Pyzik R, Yong A, Striker GE, Vlassara H. Advanced glycation end products in foods and a practical guide to their reduction in the diet. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jun;110(6):911-16.e12. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.03.018.

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Easy way to improve your circulation.

Posted by on 9:45 am Eating | 0 comments

Decreased circulation to the arms, hands, legs, or feet can be caused by atherosclerotic plaque.

You can improve that quite easily without making a lot of changes.

In the following study participants with peripheral artery disease were asked to add half a cup of cooked legumes(either beans or lentils) to their diet, every day, for 8 weeks (Zahradka P, et al. 2013).

This is what happened.

Total cholesterol decreased by 5% and LDL cholesterol (the so called bad cholesterol) decreased by 8.7%

The ankle-brachial index increased by 5.5%.

Acylcarnitine levels were also altered indicating improvements in skeletal muscle metabolism due to increased delivery of blood to the capillaries in the tissue.

I think that’s amazing, just half a cup of beans a day will accomplish that.

What we eat really makes a big difference.

This was only one example of a small change.

Zahradka P1, 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. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.07.048. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

smiling womanLearn to Eat: Recommendations that work. This is not a regular diet program.

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