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General Health

Green Tea Provides many Benefits, but you Need to Know this Before you Drink it.

Posted by on Bloodsugar, Cholesterol, General Health | 0 comments

The antioxidants called catechins in green tea is the main reason for the many benefits green tea provides.

It is very important to be insulin sensitive and have good glucose control because elevated blood glucose levels and insulin resistance cause inflammation and damage tissue.

When 17 studies were reviewed which included 1133 participants, the researchers found that green tea consumption significantly reduced fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (Hb A1c) (Liu K, et.al., 2013). Subgroup analysis also found that green tea significantly reduced fasting insulin.

 

As you get more insulin sensitive, you don’t need as much insulin to transfer the blood glucose into the cells. As blood levels of insulin go down, you will also start to use more fat for energy.
The following study investigated green tea extract in capsule form instead of drinking green tea. (Bogdanski P, et.al., 2012).The participants were obese, had high blood pressure and took either a capsule of 379 mg of green tea extract or a placebo capsule for 3 months. This was the results.

 

 

 

Total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides decreased, while HDL (high-density lipoprotein) increased in the treatment group, but not in the placebo group. The group taking the green tea extract also had a significant decrease in diastolic and systolic blood pressure as well as a significant decrease in TNF-alpha and CRP, both inflammatory markers. Glucose, insulin and insulin resistance also improved.

 

This is all very good, but you need to be careful when you buy green tea.

 

 

When black, green, white and oolong tea sold in tea bags were steeped for 3-4 minutes and the tea tested, this is what was found (Schwalfenberg G, et.al., 2013).

73% of teas brewed for 3 minutes and 83% brewed for 15 minutes had lead levels considered unsafe for consumption during pregnancy and lactation. Aluminum levels were above recommended guidelines in 20% of the brewed teas. 

 

No mercury was found at detectable levels in any of the brewed samples.

Tea can possibly also be contaminated with pesticides.

You need to be sure that the tea you buy is of high quality and not grown in contaminated soil. This is something to keep in mind when you buy green tea extract also.

 

 

References

Bogdanski P, Suliburska J, Szulinska M, Stepien M, Pupek-Musialik D, Jablecka A. Green tea extract reduces blood pressure, inflammatory biomarkers, and oxidative stress and improves parameters associated with insulin resistance in obese, hypertensive patients. Nutr Res. 2012 Jun;32(6):421-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.05.007.

Liu K, Zhou R, Wang B, Chen K, Shi LY, Zhu JD, Mi MT. Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):340-8.

Schwalfenberg G, Genuis SJ, Rodushkin I.The benefits and risks of consuming brewed tea: beware of toxic element contamination. J Toxicol. 2013;2013:370460.

 

 

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Polyphenols (catechins) are the active ingredients in green tea providing a variety of benefits.

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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, 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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Is a low carbohydrate, high protein, high fat diet the best way to eat?

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A low carbohydrate, high protein and high fat diet has been promoted by many as the solution to a variety of conditions.

 

What is the research telling us?

When data from 272,216 people were examined, low carbohydrate diets were associated with a significantly higher risk for all-cause mortality (Noto H, et.al., 2013).

Another study followed 85168 women and 44548 men for 26 and 20 years (Fung TT, et al. 2010).

At the follow up, a low carbohydrate diet with emphasis either on animal sources of fat and protein, or a low carbohydrate diet with an emphasis on vegetable sources of fat and protein were compared.

 

The researchers found that the animal sourced, low carbohydrate, high fat and high protein diet was associated with higher all-cause mortality, higher cardiovascular mortality and higher cancer mortality when compared with the diet emphasizing low carbohydrates with fat and protein from vegetable sources.

 

 

What happened when survivors from myocardial infarctions followed a low carbohydrate diet with higher intake of animal sources of fat and protein?

 

The researchers found that it was associated with higher all-cause mortality (Li S, et.al., 2014).

 

Apparently eating a high fat and high protein diet is not healthy, especially if the sources of fat and protein are from animal sources.

 

 

References

Fung TT, van Dam RM, Hankinson SE, Stampfer M, Willett WC, Hu FB. Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: two cohort studies. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Sep 7;153(5):289-98.

 

Li S, Flint A, Pai JK, Forman JP, Hu FB, Willett WC, Rexrode KM, Mukamal KJ, Rimm EB. Low carbohydrate diet from plant or animal sources and mortality among myocardial infarction survivors. J Am Heart Assoc. 2014 Sep 22;3(5).

 

Noto H, Goto A, Tsujimoto T, Noda M.  Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55030.

 

 

 

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Is there a connection between Cardiovascular risk and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

Posted by on Alzheimer’s, Brain, Dementia, General Health | 0 comments

 

An increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease is linked to the presence of apoE4, a genetic factor, which is also strongly associated with developing atherosclerosis which increases the risk for Cardiovascular disease (Altman R, Rutledge JC, 2010).                                                                     

The authors of the same article state that cardiovascular risk factors, including elevated blood cholesterol and triglycerides, increase the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

 

Researchers have also found that atherosclerosis causing obstruction of arteries at the base of the brain was more extensive in a group with Alzheimer’s disease when compared with a control group without dementia (Roher AE, et.al., 2011).

 

Arterial stiffness, atherosclerosis, endothelial degeneration and dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier can induce several features of Alzheimer’s disease including atrophy of certain areas of the brain (Kalaria RN, et.al., 2012). The endothelium is the inner lining of the blood vessels.

 

 

There are also other risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, I will write more about that later.

 

Making changes to the way you eat is the most effective way to reduce cardiovascular risk, and you would most likely also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at the same time.  

When we correct the reasons for chronic conditions, we see an improvement in many areas, since the same reasons are involved in most chronic conditions.

 

 

References

Altman R, Rutledge JC. The vascular contribution to Alzheimer’s disease. Clin Sci (Lond). 2010 Aug 5;119(10):407-21.

Kalaria RN, Akinyemi R, Ihara M. Does vascular pathology contribute to Alzheimer changes? J Neurol Sci. 2012 Nov 15;322(1-2):141-7.

Roher AE, Tyas SL, Maarouf CL, Daugs ID, Kokjohn TA, Emmerling MR, Garami Z, Belohlavek M, Sabbagh MN, Sue LI, Beach TG. Intracranial atherosclerosis as a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease dementia. Alzheimers Dement. 2011 Jul;7(4):436-44.

 

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Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids Affect Your Mood?

Posted by on Body fat, Fish Oil, General Health, Omega-3, fish oil, Stay healthy, Stress, Wellness, Womens health | 0 comments

Omega 3 fatty acids have been demonstrated to significantly influence the nervous system and affect brain structures.

Can omega 3 fat also impact the way you feel emotionally?

This was evaluated in young adults with depressive symptoms by giving them 1.4 g of EPA and DHA, the active ingredients of omega 3 fat, or a placebo (Ginty AT, Conclin SM, 2015).

The participants took the omega 3 fatty acids for 21 days, and the results showed a significant difference between the treatment group and the placebo group.

67% of the participant taking the omega 3 fatty acids no longer met the criteria for being depressed, while only 20% in the placebo group were no longer depressed.

 

When medical students were given either 2085 mg of EPA and 348 mg of DHA or a placebo, the ones who received the omega 3 fatty acids experienced a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms and a 14% reduction in IL-6 and TNF-alpha, both markers of inflammation (Kiecolt-Glaser JK et.al., 2011).

 

The fatty acid composition of the red blood cells in patients with recurrent major depression was found to be significantly lower in the patients compared to the control group without depression ( Assies J, et.al., 2010).

 

According to these studies, just by taking some capsules of a high-quality omega 3 fish oil daily, you should see a positive effect on your mood.

 

References

Assies J, Pouwer F, Lok A, Mocking RJ, Bockting CL, Visser I, Abeling NG, Duran M, Schene AH Plasma and erythrocyte fatty acid patterns in patients with recurrent depression: a matched case-control study. PLoS One. 2010 May 14;5(5):e10635.

Ginty AT, Conklin SM. Short-term supplementation of acute long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may alter depression status and decrease symptomology among young adults with depression: A preliminary randomized and placebo controlled trial.
Psychiatry Res. 2015 Sep 30;229(1-2):485-9.

Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA, Andridge R, Malarkey WB, Glaser R. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Nov;25(8):1725-34.

 

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What can B Vitamins do for your cardiovascular system?

Posted by on General Health, Health, Vitamin B, Vitamin B12, Vitamins | 0 comments

You may have read that B Vitamins don’t provide any benefits for the cardiovascular system.

 

Is that true, or is the reason instead a lack of knowledge?

 

Decide for yourself, but read this first.

While there is research showing no benefits for the cardiovascular system, could the reason be that the research methodology used in those studies were not the best?

 

2 of the references you will find here will give you access to the full article if you want to dive in deeper.

This is what was found in a double-blind randomized controlled trial of 390 participants (Wang L., et.al., 2015).

400 mcg of folic acid, 2 mg of B6 and 10 mcg of B12 were given for 12 months and resulted in a 9.6 % increase in HDL cholesterol, the so called good cholesterol. The Framingham risk score was also reduced by 7.6 %.

 

This was a low dose of B Vitamins which the researchers pointed out, so even at a low dose, there are benefits.

The following research is interesting because the participants were 46 patients with coronary artery disease given 400 mcg of folic acid daily or high dose folic acid of 5 mg daily for 7 weeks before coronary artery bypass grafting (Shirodaria C, et.al., 2007).

They were evaluated very thoroughly with MRI and vascular tissue levels of 5- Methyltetrahydrofolate levels, the metabolically active form of folate.

 

The researchers found that both the low dose and the high dose of folic acid equally improved vascular function through effects on endothelial nitric oxide synthase and vascular oxidative stress.

The MRI showed that the folic acid significantly improved both aortic and carotid artery distensibility compared to the placebo.

Aortic pulse-wave velocity, a measure of vascular stiffness was also significantly reduced compared to the placebo.

A significant reduction in vascular superoxide production was found from taking folic acid, which means that it had biologically important effects on vascular oxidative stress.

When 553 patients after having angioplasty because of coronary artery stenosis (blocked artery) were given 1000 mcg of folic acid, 400 mcg of   B12 and 10 mg of B6 per day or a placebo for 6 months , the B vitamins significantly decreased the incidence of major adverse events (Schnyder G, et.al., 2002).

This shows that when we have well designed clinical studies with a thorough evaluation, B vitamins provide important cardiovascular benefits.

If you only took 1 capsule a day of a high-quality B-Complex formula, you would receive important cardiovascular benefits according to the above studies.

 

 

References

Schnyder G, Roffi M, Flammer Y, Pin R, Hess OM. Effect of homocysteine-lowering therapy with folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 on clinical outcome after percutaneous coronary intervention: the Swiss Heart study: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002 Aug 28;288(8):973-9.

Shirodaria C, Antoniades C, Lee J, Jackson CE, Robson MD, Francis JM, Moat SJ, Ratnatunga C, Pillai R, Refsum H, Neubauer S, Channon KM. Global improvement of vascular function and redox state with low-dose folic acid: implications for folate therapy in patients with coronary artery disease. Circulation. 2007 May 1;115(17):2262-70.

Wang L, Li H, Zhou Y, Jin L, Liu J. Low-dose B vitamins supplementation ameliorates cardiovascular risk: a double-blind randomized controlled trial in healthy Chinese elderly. Eur J Nutr. 2015 Apr;54(3):455-64.

 

Vitamin B Complex

The B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin) comes in their physiologically active form, making them easier to absorb. 

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