Your Road to Wellness

Eating

Why is it important to know the immediate effects of your meals?

Posted by on 12:00 pm Bloodsugar, Calories, Eating, Fat, General Health, HDL, Omega-3, fish oil, Tissue Recovery Blog, Wellness | 0 comments

When you have your yearly medical checkup, your doctor usually runs a blood test to see how your biochemistry is when you are in a fasted state.  You should have the blood drawn in the morning before you eat anything.

While this gives both your doctor and you an idea about your health status and certain health risks, is it the most accurate way to collect information to see how well you are doing?

It is certainly a good to have those data, but think about it: we are not in a fasting state during the day. Most people eat several times during the day and may even snack between their meals.

There are several important factors to take into account when it comes to the more immediate after-effect of the meals we eat. We will look specifically at cholesterol here, which is interesting because a new study related to cholesterol and egg consumption was just published.

Let’s, however, look at another paper first.

The authors found the following.

Diet is not just about fasting cholesterol; it is mainly about the after-meal effects of cholesterol, saturated fats, oxidative stress and inflammation (Spence JD, et.al., 2010).  Focusing on fasting cholesterol obscures three key issues:

  • Dietary cholesterol increases the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidation
  • increases the after-meal effect of excess fat
  • increases the adverse effects of dietary saturated fat

Oxidized LDL is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

These researchers also said dietary cholesterol, including egg yolks, is harmful to the arteries.

Now, let’s look at the more recent study.

29 615 participants were followed for an average of 17.5 years (Zhong VW, et al., 2019).  This is what the researchers concluded.

Among US adults, higher consumption of dietary cholesterol or eggs was significantly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in a dose-response manner.

References

Spence JD, Jenkins DJ, Davignon J.Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease.Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;26(9):e336-9.

Zhong VW, Van Horn L, Cornelis MC, Wilkins JT, Ning H, Carnethon MR, Greenland P, Mentz RJ, Tucker KL, Zhao L, Norwood AF, Lloyd-Jones DM, Allen NB.Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality. JAMA. 2019 Mar 19;321(11):1081-1095.

 

 

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…

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.

 

 

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…

 

 

What can blueberries do for you?

Posted by on 1:49 am Anti-aging, Antioxidents, Diet, Eating, General Health, General Health, Stay healthy, The Learn to Eat Plan, Tissue Recovery Blog, Wellness | 0 comments

Blueberries contain flavonoids and it is the flavonoids that provide all the health benefits.

The following study showed that daily 1-month blueberry consumption increased flow-mediated dilation as well as lowered systolic blood pressure (Rodriguez-Mateos A, et.al., 2019).

The more blueberries are researched, the more impressive they look.

Flow-mediated dilation is a measurement of endothelial function (the endothelium is the inner lining of the blood vessels).

When flow-mediated dilation was measured in healthy men after blueberry flavonoid intake, the researchers found a dose-dependent increase up to an intake of 766 mg polyphenols (Rodriguez-Mateos A, et.al., 2013). The increase was seen from 1-6 hours after the intake.

Blueberries can be used to help protect the blood vessels from damage as the following study shows.

Human aortic endothelial cells showed a reduced expression of inflammatory markers after being exposed to substances found from blueberry consumption (Cutler BR, et.al., 2018).

100 g of blueberries twice daily would give you protection the whole day. While fresh blueberries are expensive, frozen blueberries are better priced.  Adding blueberries to your diet daily would give you these benefits.

References

Cutler BR, Gholami S, Chua JS, Kuberan B, Anandh Babu PV.Blueberry metabolites restore cell surface glycosaminoglycans and attenuate endothelial inflammation in diabetic human aortic endothelial cells. Int J Cardiol. 2018 Jun 15;261:155-158.

Rodriguez-Mateos A, Istas G, Boschek L, Feliciano RP, Mills CE, Boby C, Gomez-Alonso S, Milenkovic D, Heiss C,Circulating anthocyanin metabolites mediate vascular benefits of blueberries: insights from randomized controlled trials, metabolomics, and nutrigenomics. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Feb 16. pii: glz047.

Rodriguez-Mateos A, Rendeiro C, Bergillos-Meca T, Tabatabaee S, George TW, Heiss C, Spencer JP.Intake and time dependence of blueberry flavonoid-induced improvements in vascular function: a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study with mechanistic insights into biological activity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov;98(5):1179-91.

 

 

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…

A lesser-known benefit of a plant based diet

Posted by on 4:37 am Diet, Diseases, Eating, General Health, Health, Health Risk, Insulin resistance, Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, Stay healthy, The Learn to Eat Plan, Vegetables, Wellness | 0 comments

You may not have heard about Trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), but this metabolite is created by the bacterial flora in the gut in response to certain food components.  This is the process.

TMAO originates from a precursor, trimethylamine (TMA) that is a metabolite of mainly choline and carnitine from ingested foods and may be involved in insulin resistance (Oellgaard J, et.al., 2017).  Why is TMAO important?

TMAO may not only increase the risk for insulin resistance, but also TMAO appears to be of particular importance as a risk factor and potentially a causative agent of various pathologies, mostly cardiovascular disease and other associated conditions (Al-Rubaye H, et.al., 2018).

Dietary l-carnitine is converted into the atherosclerosis- and thrombosis-promoting metabolite TMAO via gut microbiota-dependent transformations.
TMAO transformation is induced by omnivorous dietary patterns and chronic l-carnitine exposure (Koeth RA, et.al., 2019 ).


A big difference in the TMAO levels can seen when comparing people eating animal-based protein to vegans (who eat plant-based protein). Eating a plant-based diet results in a different gut bacterial flora and will not produce much TMAO.

References

Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) as a New Potential Therapeutic Target for Insulin Resistance and Cancer.
Oellgaard J, Winther SA, Hansen TS, Rossing P, von Scholten BJ.
Curr Pharm Des. 2017;23(25):3699-3712. doi: 10.2174/1381612823666170622095324. Review.
PMID:28641532

The Role of Microbiota in Cardiovascular Risk: Focus on Trimethylamine Oxide.
Al-Rubaye H, Perfetti G, Kaski JC.
Curr Probl Cardiol. 2018 Jul 7. pii: S0146-2806(18)30079-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cpcardiol.2018.06.005. [Epub ahead of print] Review.
PMID:30482503

l-Carnitine in omnivorous diets induces an atherogenic gut microbial pathway in humans.
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. J Clin Invest. 2019 Jan 2;129(1):373-387. doi: 10.1172/JCI94601. Epub 2018 Dec 10.  PMID:30530985

 

 

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…

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…

 

This function is involved in a variety conditions from viral diseases to heart disease, stroke and diabetes

Posted by on 7:25 am Cardiovascular Disease, Diet, Diseases, Eating, General Health, Green tea, Health, Nut consumption, Stay healthy, The Learn to Eat Plan, Vegetables, Wellness | 0 comments

Vascular endothelial cells line the entire circulatory system, from the heart to the smallest capillaries.  

The endothelium is the inner layer of the blood vessels and is extremely important.

When the endothelium is functioning normally, it helps to regulate blood clotting, assists the body’s immune response, controls the volume of fluid and the amount of electrolytes and other substances that pass from the blood into the tissues, and produces dilation or constriction of the blood vessels.

The endothelium is directly involved in peripheral vascular disease, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance,  chronic kidney failure, tumor growth, metastasis, venous thrombosis, and severe viral infectious diseases (Rajendran P, et.al., 2013).

Free radicals can disrupt the balance of NO (Nitric Oxide), damage the endothelium, and leave it overly permeable, allowing toxins to pass into body tissues (Rubanyi GM, Vanhoutte PM. et.al., 1986).

How can you keep the endothelium healthy?

A high nutrient, low glycemic index plant based diet will go a long way.  In addition to that you can eat some blueberries.

In this double blind crossover study the researchers gave the participants blueberry flavonoids and measured flow-mediated dilation (Rodriguez-Mateos A, et.al., 2013).

They found a significant increase in flow-mediated dilation at 1-2 and 6 h after consumption of the blueberry polyphenols.

The researchers concluded that blueberry intake acutely improves vascular function in healthy men.

You can also drink green tea.

Low-mediated dilation significantly improved after drinking green tea, and has a beneficial effect on endothelial function (Alexopoulos N, et.al., 2008).

References

Alexopoulos N1, Vlachopoulos C, Aznaouridis K, Baou K, Vasiliadou C, Pietri P, Xaplanteris P, Stefanadi E, Stefanadis C.The acute effect of green tea consumption on endothelial function in healthy individuals. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2008 Jun;15(3):300-5.

Rajendran P, Rengarajan T, Thangavel J, Nishigaki Y, Sakthisekaran D, Sethi G, Nishigaki I.The vascular endothelium and human diseases. Int J Biol Sci. 2013 Nov 9;9(10):1057-69.

Rodriguez-Mateos A1, Rendeiro C, Bergillos-Meca T, Tabatabaee S, George TW, Heiss C, Spencer JP.Intake and time dependence of blueberry flavonoid-induced improvements in vascular function: a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study with mechanistic insights into biological activityAm J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov;98(5):1179-91.

Rubanyi GM, Vanhoutte PM. Superoxide anions and hyperoxia inactivate endothelium-derived relaxing factor.Am J Physiol. 1986 May;250(5 Pt 2):H822-7.

 

 

 

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…