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The Danger of Oxidized Cholesterol and How to Avoid It

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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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Timing your meals is important for your health. Here’s how:

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Time-restricting when you eat can affect your appetite, blood pressure and insulin sensitivity

We tend to focus all our attention on what we eat, and while that is important, when we eat will also have a big impact on our health.

This study evaluated eating earlier in the day to be in alignment with circadian rhythms in metabolism (Sutton EF, et.al., 2108).

The participants were men with prediabetes. They were fed 3 meals either within a 6-hour period were the last meal was eaten before 3:00PM, or they were fed the 3 meals within a 12-hour period.

This was done for 5 weeks, then the schedule was switched so the ones eating within a 6-hour period were switched to the 12-hour period. The diet was kept the same.

When they ate within the 6-hour period, the participants improved their insulin sensitivity, β cell responsiveness, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and appetite.

To be sure that the benefits were not due to weight loss, the participants were given enough food to maintain their weight.

Food intake during a shorter time period without changing the calorie intake can provide metabolic benefits and prevent weight gain (Zarrinpar A, et.al, 2016).

 

References

Sutton EF, Beyl R, Early KS, Cefalu WT, Ravussin E, Peterson CM. Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes. Cell Metab. 2018 May 8. pii: S1550-4131(18)30253-5.

Zarrinpar A, Chaix A, Panda S. Daily Eating Patterns and Their Impact on Health and Disease. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Feb;27(2):69-83.

 

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How does our diet affect our heart health?

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This is very important. These are the biggest nutrient factors influencing cardiovascular mortality.

This research may surprise you.

The researchers evaluated the association between specific patterns of protein intake and
cardiovascular mortality in 81.337 men and women, and they found some interesting associations
(Tharrey M, et.al., 2018).

The risk for cardiovascular mortality was 61% higher for those who had the highest intake of meat protein, but it was 60% lower for those who had the highest protein intake from nuts and seeds (highest versus lowest quintile scores).

Adjustments for the participant’s vegetarian dietary pattern and nutrients related to cardiovascular disease outcomes did not change the results.

This is very important.

The researchers concluded that the associations between the ‘Meat’ and ‘Nuts & Seeds’ protein factors and cardiovascular outcomes were strong and could not be ascribed to other associated nutrients considered to be important for cardiovascular health.

In the following study the researchers looked at the association between protein intake and ischemic heart disease in 43.960 healthy men (Preis SR, et.al., 2010). They categorized healthy men as those free of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes at the start of the study.

When they compared the intake of animal protein with vegetable protein, they found higher intake of animal protein to be associated with an increased risk for ischemic heart disease. The follow up was 18 years.

There are also other studies indicating the same thing. This is worthwhile paying attention to.

This is good news when you think about it. You have a lot of control when it comes to significantly reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease. No medication can offer you these kind of benefits, and there are no side effects.

References
Preis SR, Stampfer MJ, Spiegelman D, Willett WC, Rimm EB. Dietary protein and risk of ischemic heart
disease in middle-aged men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1265-72.

Tharrey M, Mariotti F, Mashchak A, Barbillon P, Delattre M, Fraser GE. Patterns of plant and animal
protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: the Adventist Health Study-2
cohort. Int J Epidemiol. 2018 Apr 2.

 

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Can Garlic reduce Vascular Plaque?

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Plaque is a term used for deposits in the arteries.

Not all plaque is equally dangerous. It depends on the thickness and what it is made of. The most dangerous plaque is unstable and may create a blood clot causing an obstruction of an artery if it breaks loose.

When 1469 patients with low to intermediate cardiovascular risk were evaluated with coronary CT angiography, the researchers found that the risk for major adverse cardiac events increased with a non-calcifying plaque component (Feuchtner G, et.al., 2017)

 

What is termed low-attenuation plaque is plaque with lower density, below a certain thickness. This is what the researchers found to be one of the most powerful predictors of major adverse cardiac events.

 

What follows now is the most important information, because the researchers in the next study documented an easy way to stabilize vulnerable plaque and decrease adverse cardiovascular events (Matsumoto S, et.al., 2016).


The researchers evaluated patients with metabolic syndrome using cardiac computed tomography angiography at the beginning of the study. Then they gave them either 2400 mg of aged garlic extract per day, or a placebo for approximately one year before evaluating them again.

 

They found that the participants taking the aged garlic had significantly reduced low-attenuation plaque, which is the dangerous type.

 

Sometimes there are easy steps you can take to reduce your cardiovascular risk. The best way to use information like this is not only to take garlic extract, but to add that to a diet documented to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

 

References

Feuchtner G, Kerber J, Burghard P, Dichtl W, Friedrich G, Bonaros N, Plank F. The high-risk criteria low-attenuation plaque <60 HU and the napkin-ring sign are the most powerful predictors of MACE: a long-term follow-up study. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2017 Jul 1;18(7):772-779.

Matsumoto S, Nakanishi R, Li D, Alani A, Rezaeian P, Prabhu S, Abraham J, Fahmy MA, Dailing C, Flores F, Hamal S, Broersen A, Kitslaar PH, Budoff MJ. Aged Garlic Extract Reduces Low Attenuation Plaque in Coronary Arteries of Patients with Metabolic Syndrome in a Prospective Randomized Double-Blind Study. J Nutr. 2016 Feb;146(2):427S-432S.

 

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Can your bacterial flora clog up your arteries?

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As more and more research is being conducted on the bacterial flora of the intestines, the more we realize how important it is to have an abundant and diverse bacterial population of the healthy kind. The researchers of the following study found that patients with symptomatic atherosclerosis had more of certain gut bacteria than healthy controls (Karlsson FH, et.al., 2012).

The bacterial flora is associated with our inflammatory status, that’s what these researchers suggested, and we know that inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract creates inflammation other places in the body and is a risk factor for atherosclerosis.

Your bacterial flora can for that reason clog up your arteries if you have the wrong type of bacteria.

When bacteria in atherosclerotic plaques were examined, specific types were identified, and some types correlated with total cholesterol and fibrinogen levels (Ziganshina EE, et.al., 2016). Periodontal disease has also been associated with atherosclerosis.

Bacterial DNA was detected in atherosclerotic plaque, and the amount of DNA correlated with the number of leukocytes (a type of white blood cell), found in the atherosclerotic plaque (Koren O, et.al., 2011). Leukocytes are involved in the inflammatory response.

Several types of bacteria in the mouth and the gut correlated with blood cholesterol levels. How can you increase the number of friendly bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract?

These bacteria feed on a variety of plant fiber. When you eat a plant-based diet with a variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, your healthy flora will increase, and these bacteria reduce inflammation.

References

Karlsson FH, Fåk F, Nookaew I, Tremaroli V, Fagerberg B, Petranovic D, Bäckhed F, Nielsen J. Symptomatic atherosclerosis is associated with an altered gut metagenome. Nat Commun. 2012;3:1245.

Koren O, Spor A, Felin J, Fåk F, Stombaugh J, Tremaroli V, Behre CJ, Knight R, Fagerberg B, Ley RE, Bäckhed F. Human oral, gut, and plaque microbiota in patients with atherosclerosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Mar 15;108 Suppl 1:4592-8.

Ziganshina EE, Sharifullina DM, Lozhkin AP, Khayrullin RN, Ignatyev IM, Ziganshin AM. Bacterial Communities Associated with Atherosclerotic Plaques from Russian Individuals with Atherosclerosis. PLoS One. 2016 Oct 13;11(10):e0164836.

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Magnesium is Even More Important than We Used to Think

Posted by on 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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