Your Road to Wellness

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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The clogged pipe analogy is the old, but outdated model of explaining cardiovascular disease which still is used most of the time because of lack of understanding and lack of exposure to research (Rothberg MB,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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Change The Structure Of Your Brain And Improve Your Memory With This Fat

Posted by on 11:29 am Body fat, Fat, Fish Oil, General Health, Memory, Omega-3, fish oil, Stay healthy | 0 comments

 

You may think it sounds too good to be true to be able to change your brain structure by only eating a certain type of fat.

The following research is however of very high-quality and included structural neuroimaging, cognitive performance testing, vascular markers and additional blood tests (Witte AV, et.al., 2014).

65 healthy participants 50 to 75 years took either fish oil or a placebo for 26 weeks.

 

The results showed a significant increase in executive function after taking the fish oil for 26 weeks when compared to the placebo.

Even more interesting, the fish oil had beneficial effects on white matter microstructural integrity and gray matter volume.

Not only that, it also had beneficial effects on the carotid intima media thickness and diastolic blood pressure.

The carotid intima media is the inner layer of the blood vessel wall.

How much fish oil did they take?

They only took 2.2 g a day to get all those benefits.

 

If you want to add more things which will have a beneficial effect on your brain structure, you can add aerobic exercise and cognitive stimulation.

The participant in this study had mild cognitive impairment.

Compared to the control group, the participants taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement and participating in aerobic exercise and cognitive stimulation increased or preserved gray matter volume (Kobe T, et.al., 2016).

Gray matter volume decreased in the control group.

Sometimes you don’t have to make a lot of changes to get a lot of benefits.

 

 

References

Köbe T, Witte AV, Schnelle A, Lesemann A, Fabian S, Tesky VA, Pantel J, Flöel A. Combined omega-3 fatty acids, aerobic exercise and cognitive stimulation prevents decline in gray matter volume of the frontal, parietal and cingulate cortex in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Neuroimage. 2016 May 1;131:226-38.

Witte AV, Kerti L, Hermannstädter HM, Fiebach JB, Schreiber SJ, Schuchardt JP, Hahn A, Flöel A,

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids improve brain function and structure in older adults.
Cereb Cortex. 2014 Nov;24(11):3059-68.

 

 

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1 Healthy Source Of Fat You Should Not Miss

Posted by on 10:00 am Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Diet, Eating, Fat, General Health, Nut consumption | 0 comments

 

Nuts are a very healthy source of fat for several reasons, and it is easy to add to your diet.

 

While all nuts provide health benefits, some offer more benefits than others.  

 

Pistachios are the best ones.

Research has documented that pistachios provide cardiovascular benefits by reducing LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol (Kasliwal RR, et.al.,2015). This was achieved with a daily consumption of 40 g of pistachios daily for 3 months, which also improved brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation and carotid-femoral and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity. These are measurements of the function of the inner lining of the blood vessels and arterial stiffness. In addition to all of this, the blood glucose levels also improved.healthy source of fat: pistachios

 

Even if you have diabetes, nuts can help you.  

25 g of pistachio nuts twice daily decreased fasting blood glucose, systolic blood pressure, and CRP, an inflammatory marker (Parham M, et.al., 2014). Not bad for snacking on some nuts twice a day.  

 

Another nut which is also among the best is walnuts.  

Walnuts measured the highest amounts of polyphenols when 9 types of nuts were compared (Vinson JA, Cai Y, 2012). Polyphenols are antioxidants that would inhibit oxidative processes leading to atherosclerosis.  

 

A high-fat meal has shown to decrease endothelial function, but if you add 40 g of walnuts to the meal, it will improve flow-mediated dilation (Cortes B, et.al., 2006). Walnuts will also decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol and inflammation. Oxidized LDL is the most dangerous LDL.

diabetes tacker: healthy source of fat

Do you have high cholesterol?

Even in people with high cholesterol, walnuts have shown to improve endothelial function and reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (Ros E, et.al., 2004).

 

You can even help to improve your brain function by eating walnuts. The polyphenol in walnuts has not only been found to reduce the oxidant and inflammatory exposure of brain cells but has also been found to improve interneuronal signaling (Poulose SM, et.al., 2014).

 

 


References:

Kasliwal RR, Bansal M, Mehrotra R, Yeptho KP, Trehan N. Effect of pistachio nut consumption on endothelial function and arterial stiffness. Nutrition. 2015 May;31(5):678-85. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.10.019. Epub 2014 Nov 7. PMID: 25837212

Parham M, Heidari S, Khorramirad A, Hozoori M, Hosseinzadeh F, Bakhtyari L, Vafaeimanesh J. Effects of pistachio nut supplementation on blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized crossover trial. Rev Diabet Stud. 2014 Summer;11(2):190-6. doi: 10.1900/RDS.2014.11.190. Epub 2014 Aug 10. PMID: 25396407

Vinson JA, Cai Y. Nuts, especially walnuts, have both antioxidant quantity and efficacy and exhibit significant potential health benefits. Food Funct. 2012 Feb;3(2):134-40. doi: 10.1039/c2fo10152a. Epub 2011 Dec 21. PMID: 22187094

Cortés B, Núñez I, Cofán M, Gilabert R, Pérez-Heras A, Casals E, Deulofeu R, Ros E. Acute effects of high-fat meals enriched with walnuts or olive oil on postprandial endothelial function. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71. Epub 2006 Sep 26. PMID: 17045905

Ros E, Núñez I, Pérez-Heras A, Serra M, Gilabert R, Casals E, Deulofeu R. A walnut diet improves endothelial function in hypercholesterolemic subjects: a randomized crossover trial.. Circulation. 2004 Apr 6;109(13):1609-14. Epub 2004 Mar 22. PMID: 15037535

Poulose SM, Miller MG, Shukitt-Hale B. Role of walnuts in maintaining brain health with age. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4 Suppl):561S-566S. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.184838. Epub 2014 Feb 5. Review. PMID: 24500933


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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.


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

Your fat and nervous system talk to each other.

Posted by on 9:45 am Fat | 0 comments


We used to think that fat was only a way for the body to store energy, in other words, store excess calories.  

That is far from the truth.

We are now learning that the white fat is metabolically active, that’s the fat we gain when the body is left with more calories than it can immediately use.

We can easily see it accumulate around the waist, but we can also find it other places.

The white fat is now considered an endocrine organ which means that it can produce several bioactive factors, so called adipokines.

These substances play a role in regulating the energy metabolism, but they also affect the nervous system.

Why is this important?

It is especially important because these substances may cross the blood brain barrier or modify the blood brain barrier physiology by affecting cells forming the blood brain barrier (Parimisetty A, et al. 2016).

The blood brain barrier is supposed to block the entrance of chemicals that can be harmful to the brain.

The adipokines can for those reasons regulate neuroinflammation and oxidative stress.

Inflammation and oxidative stress are not only affecting the nervous system negatively, but are also risk factors for most chronic diseases.

Parimisetty A1,2, Dorsemans AC1,2, Awada R3, Ravanan P4, Diotel N1,2, Lefebvre d’Hellencourt C5,6. Secret talk between adipose tissue and central nervous system via secreted factors-an emerging frontier in the neurodegenerative research. J Neuroinflammation. 2016 Mar 24;13(1):67. doi: 10.1186/s12974-016-0530-x.

 

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What happens to your cardiovascular risk when you compare butter with olive oil?

Posted by on 9:45 am Fat | 0 comments


Most of the fat in butter is saturated and most of the fat in olive oil comes from monounsaturated fat.

That’s why butter and olive oil were compared in this study in an attempt to figure out how saturated fat and unsaturated fat from a vegetable source affected cardiovascular risk factors (Anderson-Vasquez HE, et al. 2015).

There has been a lot of talking lately about how healthy saturated fat is and how wrong it has been to recommend avoiding the saturated fat.

Many healthcare professionals now recommend to eat a lot of butter, high fat cheese and meat.

You may even find a reference to research claiming that eating a lot of saturated fat does not increase cardiovascular risk.

The question is are these studies accurate?

The media of course will jump at any opportunity to make headlines, but keep in mind that the media is more concerned about the attention they get than your well being.

If you look closer at these studies, you find so-called population studies where people fill out food questionnaires, and years later the researchers check how many died and what kind of food they were eating more of.

This kind of research has its weaknesses, but can be useful if it supports the results from clinical studies where a group of people are put on a certain diet for a specific time, and reliable tests are used to verify the results.

Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides are regarded as reliable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, even if they are not the only risk factors.

You may find research claiming that you can eat several eggs every day high in cholesterol without seeing an increase in blood cholesterol levels.

These are clinical studies and should be more accurate, right?

Well, it depends on how they are designed.

If you take a group of people who already have high cholesterol and give them some eggs, will it increase their cholesterol?

No, because their cholesterol is already high, but if you give people with low cholesterol the same amount of eggs, their cholesterol will go up.

The outcome of the study was already known before you started, and that of course can be very good if you want to for example sell more eggs, like in this example.

You can also take a group of people eating high glycemic index junk food which is known to raise cholesterol and give them some eggs.

What do you find?

It does not matter if you add some eggs to the junk they are already eating, it does not raise their cholesterol further.

The study I am going to write about here is interesting because it used the same study participants, but had them eat a lot of saturated fat from butter for 28 days, and then had the same people eat monounsaturated fat from olive oil later.

The researchers tested their blood before they started and tested them after each intervention.

Can you eat a lot of saturated fat from animal sources without increasing your cardiovascular risk?

No, the results showed that the saturated fat increased the cardiovascular risk, while the monounsaturated fat decreased the risk.

Anderson-Vasquez HE1, Pérez-Martínez P2, Ortega Fernández P3, Wanden-Berghe C4. Impact of the consumption of a rich diet in butter and it replacement for a rich diet in extra virgin olive oil on anthropometric, metabolic and lipid profile in postmenopausal women. Nutr Hosp. 2015 Jun 1;31(6):2561-70. doi: 10.3305/nh.2015.31.6.8732.

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