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Your Road to Wellness

HDL

Do you want to feel less anxious? This has shown to help.

Posted by on 11:00 am Fish Oil, HDL, Omega-3, fish oil, Wellness | 0 comments

No one wants to feel anxious, so what can you do?  The aim of this research was to find out if omega 3 fatty acids would reduce inflammatory markers and symptoms of anxiety in healthy young adults (Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et.al., 2011).

The participants of this double blind placebo controlled study were 68 medical students. The research took 12 weeks.

They provided blood samples during lower-stress periods and also on days before an exam.

The students  received either 2.5 g per day of omega 3 fish oil capsules consisting of 2085 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 348 mg of DHA (docosahexanoic acid) or placebo capsules. 

Compared to controls, the students who received the omega 3 fatty acids showed a 14% decrease in lipopolysaccharide stimulated interleukin 6 (IL-6) production which is an inflammatory marker, and a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms.

Because the absorption and metabolism of omega 3 fatty acid supplements can differ, a secondary analysis was also performed. This showed that a lower omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio led to lower anxiety and reductions in stimulated IL-6 and TNF-alpha production, both inflammatory markers.

Supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids if the dose of EPA is high enough can reduce both inflammation and symptoms of anxiety even in young and healthy people.

Reference

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. Most fish oils on the market are ethyl esters because that’s cheaper to produce.

The Better Fish Oil comes in the form of triglycerides which offers better stability to the fatty acids and prevents breakdown and oxidation.

Get your bottle here.

One good reason it is important to have a low omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio

Posted by on 10:00 am Fish Oil, Flaxseeds, General Health, HDL, HDL Level, Health Risk, Omega-3, fish oil, telomeres, Wellness | 0 comments

Both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are essential which means we have to get them through the diet, since the body cannot make them.  The omega 6 fatty acid intake is quite a bit higher than the omega 3 intake the way most people eat now.

Omega 6 fatty acids are precursors for arachidonic acid which again is a part of the inflammatory cascade which is producing the inflammatory cytokines (substances). The omega 3 fatty acids are more known for reducing inflammation.

Both of these fatty acids are important and they are incorporated into the cell membranes.

The following research is interesting because it measured telomere length as it relates to aging, and how this is affected by the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids (Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et.al., 2013).

Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes. If DNA strands become damaged our cells will not function properly.  Longer telomeres are generally related to better health.

This was a double-blind four-month study, and included 106 healthy sedentary overweight middle-aged older adults who received either 2.5g/day, l.25g/day or a placebo capsule for 4 months. Oxidative stress and telomere length were measured.

The researchers found that oxidative stress was reduced, and that telomere length increased with decreasing omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio.   This data suggests that a lower omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio can impact cell aging.

Other research has documented that omega 3 fatty acids also reduce inflammation.

The omega 3 fatty acids used in this research were from fish oil and had a high amount of EPA.

Reference

Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Feb;28:16-24, Epel ES, Belury MA, Andridge R, Lin J, Glaser R, Malarkey WB, Hwang BS, Blackburn E. Omega-3 fatty acids, oxidative stress, and leukocyte telomere length: A randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Feb;28:16-24.

 

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. Most fish oils on the market are ethyl esters because that’s cheaper to produce.

The Better Fish Oil comes in the form of triglycerides which offers better stability to the fatty acids and prevents breakdown and oxidation.

Get your bottle here.

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…

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

3 Important Benefits of Flax Seeds

Posted by on 12:26 pm Anti-Aging, Anti-aging, Antioxidents, Blood Pressure, Bloodsugar, Body fat, Bone density, bone loss, Diabetes, Flaxseeds, General Health, General Health, Glucose, Green tea, Happiness, HDL, HDL Level, Health, Health Risk | 0 comments

 

One of the impressive health benefits of flax seeds is the ability to decrease blood pressure (Rodriguez-Leyva D, et.al., 2013).

In a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, 30 g of flax seeds daily for 6 months reduced the systolic blood pressure of 10 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure with 7 mm Hg.

 This is as good as some blood pressure medications, and instead of side-effects, you get even additional benefits.

13 g of flax seeds daily has shown to decrease blood glucose and insulin and improve insulin sensitivity in obese individuals with pre-diabetes (Hutchins AM, et.al., 2013).

Flax seeds can also lower cholesterol. 

In just 7 days a drink made of flax seeds lowered total cholesterol by 12% and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) 15% (Kristensen M, et.al., 2012).

Even if many people are not aware of these health benefits, it’s been known for a long time that flax seeds can reduce total cholesterol, LDL and decrease the blood glucose after a meal (Cunnane SC, et.al., 1993).

 

It is very important to keep the blood glucose in a good range even after a meal, it is not enough to only have good fasting blood glucose.

I recommend grinding 2 tablespoons of flax seeds in a coffee grinder and put them in a glass with water, stir it and drink it thick. You can of course also sprinkle it on food, like a salad if you prefer.

 

References

Cunnane, S. C., Ganguli, S., Menard, C., Liede, A. C., Hamadeh, M. J., Chen, Z. Y., … & Jenkins, D. J. (1993). High α-linolenic acid flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum): some nutritional properties in humansBritish Journal of Nutrition69(2), 443-453.

Hutchins, A. M., Brown, B. D., Cunnane, S. C., Domitrovich, S. G., Adams, E. R., & Bobowiec, C. E. (2013). Daily flaxseed consumption improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes: a randomized study. Nutrition research33(5), 367-375.

Kristensen, M., Jensen, M. G., Aarestrup, J., Petersen, K. E., Søndergaard, L., Mikkelsen, M. S., & Astrup, A. (2012). Flaxseed dietary fibers lower cholesterol and increase fecal fat excretion, but the magnitude of the effect depends on food typeNutrition & Metabolism9(1), 8.

Rodriguez-Leyva, D., Weighell, W., Edel, A. L., LaVallee, R., Dibrov, E., Pinneker, R., … & Pierce, G. N. (2013). Potent Antihypertensive Action of Dietary Flaxseed in Hypertensive PatientsNovelty and Significance. Hypertension62(6), 1081-1089.