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General Health

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.

 

Better Fish Oil

The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid since their diet usually contains too much Omega 6 from vegetable oils and saturated fat from dairy and other animal sources

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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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This Can Help Prevent Shrinkage Of Key Brain Areas

Posted by on Brain, General Health | 0 comments

 

Shrinkage of certain brain areas is linked to decreased cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers used MRI scanning of the brain to verify the results, and the participants were elderly people with increased risk for dementia (Douaud G, et.al., 2013).

In an initial randomized study the researchers did, they showed that treatment with these B vitamins: Folic acid 800 mcg,  B6 20 mg, and B12 500 mcg, slowed shrinkage of the whole brain volume over 2 years.

 

In this study, they demonstrated that vitamin B treatment reduced grey matter atrophy (shrinkage) 7-fold in the areas specifically vulnerable to the Alzheimer’s process.

In the placebo group, higher levels of homocysteine were associated with faster grey matter atrophy, but this is largely prevented by the B vitamins Folic acid, B6, and B12.

 

 

Homocysteine is a metabolite and an amino acid involved I an important metabolic pathway. It is however not healthy to have high homocysteine levels.

An earlier study found that higher folate levels were associated with a better cognitive function, and better performance on psychomotor speed regardless of homocysteine levels (deLau LM, et.al.,2007).

The 1092 participants did not have dementia and were between 60 and 90 years of age. They underwent extensive cognitive testing and brain imaging.

When 51 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 65 cognitively screened controls were studied, blood holotranscobalamin which is the active fraction of blood B12, were found to be low in the Alzheimer’s patients (Refsum H, Smith AD, 2003).

 

Blood levels of regular cobalamin (B12) were however not low.

When you take B vitamins, take a high-quality B-Complex which should include all of the B vitamins and the metabolite of folic acid methyltetrahydrofolate, to ensure that your body can use it. I also recommend methylcobalamin which is the form of B12 important for the nervous system.

 

 

 

 

References

de Lau LM, Refsum H, Smith AD, Johnston C, Breteler MM. Plasma folate concentration and cognitive performance: Rotterdam Scan Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Sep;86(3):728-34.

Douaud G, Refsum H, de Jager CA, Jacoby R, Nichols TE, Smith SM, Smith AD. Preventing Alzheimer’s disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 4;110(23):9523-8.

Refsum H, Smith AD. Low vitamin B-12 status in confirmed Alzheimer’s disease as revealed by serum holotranscobalamin. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003 Jul;74(7):959-61.

 

Vitamin B Complex

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

 

Read more.. 

Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids Reduce Muscle Loss In Older People?

Posted by on Anti-Aging, General Health, Omega-3, fish oil | 0 comments

 

Losing muscle mass is common for most people as they get older, and for some, it leads to disability.

This can, however, be avoided. Exercise is the obvious recommendation to avoid losing muscle, but there is also something else you can do, and this is a lot less strenuous.

If this appeals to you, keep on reading.

I would of course, still recommend exercising since that provides a lot of benefits, and should be a part of a healthy lifestyle.

First, we are not going to build muscles as easy when we are 70 years old as we did when we were 20 years old. It is, however, possible to maintain most of the muscle mass as we get older by exercise effectively and implement some additional strategies.

This is, however, going to show you research you can implement that works even without exercising.

Sixty healthy 60-85-year-old men and women took either omega 3 fatty acids or corn oil as a control for 6 months (Smith GI, et.al., 2015).

They were evaluated for thigh muscle volume, handgrip strength, one-repetition maximum (1-RM), lower- and upper body strength and average power before they started and after 6 months.

 

This is what the researchers found.

When compared with the control group the omega 3 fatty acid group increased thigh muscle volume by 3.6%.

They increased handgrip strength with 2.3 kg.

They increased 1-RM muscle strength by 4%.

They increased average power by 5.6%.

 

This was from only taking 1.86 g of EPA and 1.50 G of DHA from fish oil daily.

 

EPA and DHA are the active ingredients in omega 3 fatty acids.

How easy can it be, I think that is amazing, and there are other studies showing that omega 3 fatty acids increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis (building of muscles) (Di Girolamo FG, et.al., 2014, Smith GI, et.al., 2011).

Another interesting study showed that patients who ingested 3.4 g per day of EPA and DHA from fish oil 2-3 weeks before having heart surgery showed increased mitochondrial respiration in the atrial myocardium (Anderson EJ, et.al., 2014).

The patients that took the omega 3 fatty acids also had a greater activity of key antioxidant/anti-inflammatory enzymes.

 

Sometimes you can get a lot of benefits from doing very little.

 

Just be sure that you take a high-quality fish oil supplement., since the contaminants in fish can prevent the benefits from fish oil.

 

References

 

Anderson EJ, Thayne KA, Harris M, Shaikh SR, Darden TM, Lark DS, Williams JM, Chitwood WR, Kypson AP, Rodriguez E. Do fish oil omega-3 fatty acids enhance antioxidant capacity and mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation in human atrial myocardium via PPARγ activation? Antioxid Redox Signal. 2014 Sep 10;21(8):1156-63.

Di Girolamo FG, Situlin R, Mazzucco S, Valentini R, Toigo G, Biolo G. Omega-3 fatty acids and protein metabolism: enhancement of anabolic interventions for sarcopenia. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Mar;17(2):145-50.

Smith GI, Julliand S, Reeds DN, Sinacore DR, Klein S, Mittendofer B Fish oil-derived n-3 PUFA therapy increases muscle mass and function in healthy older adults.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):115-22.

Smith GI, Atherton P, Reeds DN, Mohammed BS, Rankin D, Rennie MJ, Mittendorfer B. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):402-12. 

 

BETTER FISH OIL – OMEGA 3

The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid since their diet usually contains too much Omega 6 from vegetable oils and saturated fat from dairy and other animal sources.

Read more…