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Heart disease

Your Blood Glucose Level after You Eat can Affect Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease.

Posted by on 11:19 am Bloodsugar, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Eating, General Health, Glucose, Health, Heart disease | 0 comments

Your blood glucose level after you eat can affect your risk for cardiovascular disease. Several studies show a correlation between blood glucose levels and what happens to your arteries. The most common ways to evaluate the blood glucose metabolism is to measure fasting blood glucose and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Hemoglobin A1c is usually used to monitor long-term glucose control, 2-3 months.

Image result for blood glucoseMore and more research is, however, documenting the importance of also knowing what the blood glucose level is after a meal, and that is not checked routinely.

In the following study, the participants were divided into 4 groups based on coronary angiography (Sasso FC,, 2004). One group had no significant stenosis (calcification), the other groups had documented disease in 1 and up to 3 vessels. Several tests were performed to evaluate the glucose metabolism, including the glucose and insulin levels after eating.

For patients with a so-called normal glucose tolerance, it was interesting that the most important test correlating with cardiovascular risk was the glucose level after eating, and the next was Hemoglobin A1c.

In patients with coronary artery disease the researchers showed that even with normal Hemoglobin A1c levels, the participants with an abnormal glucose tolerance test (glucose after a meal) had greater progression of coronary artery lesions (Wang H,, 2014).

It was not even a difference in risk between patients with an impaired glucose tolerance and patients who had type 2 diabetes. This shows that you don’t have to have progressed to having diabetes to have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Researchers have found that there is a linear relationship between the risk of cardiovascular death and the 2-hour glucose tolerance test (Leiter LA,, 2005).

Image result for cardiovascular disease and glucose level

The 2 -hour glucose tolerance test measures the blood glucose level 2 hours after a test drink has been ingested.

These researchers found increased mortality at an oral 2-hour glucose tolerance test of approximately 90 mg/dl which is well below the level of what type 2 diabetes patients have.

Research is showing us that what we used to think of as normal and good test results are not good enough. That’s probably why we see a lot of people dying from a cardiovascular disease with laboratory values in the normal range.

Leiter LA, Ceriello A, Davidson JA, Hanefeld M, Monnier L, Owens DR, Tajima N, Tuomilehto J ; International Prandial Glucose Regulation Study Group. Clin Ther. 2005;27 Suppl B:S42-56.

Sasso FC, Carbonara O, Nasti R, Campana B, Marfella R, Torella M, Nappi G, Torella R, Cozzolino D, Glucose metabolism and coronary heart disease in patients with normal glucose tolerance. JAMA. 2004 Apr 21;291(15):1857-63.

Wang H, Tang Z, Li X, Hu B, Feng B. Angiographic evaluation of the effects of glucose metabolic status on progression of coronary artery lesions in patients with coronary artery disease. J Diabetes. 2014 Nov;6(6):541-6.


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Osteoarthritis in women associated with deposits in Arteries

Posted by on 12:33 pm Asthma, Calories, Eating, Energy, Exercise, General Health, General Health, Health Risk, Heart disease, Muscles, Nervous System, Research, Wellness, Women, Womens health | 0 comments

Research sometimes find interesting connections we usually don’t think about.

A study including 3278 women found an association between plaque in the carotid artery and osteoarthritis in the knee and hands in women (Hoeven TA,, 2013).

We know that inflammation is involved in osteoarthritis, even if it is less severe than in rheumatoid arthritis.

We also know that inflammation increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. Inflammation is an important factor in depositing cholesterol and fat into the inner lining of the vascular wall.


Another interesting connection found lower magnesium levels in rheumatoid arthritis patients compared to controls (Chavan VU,, 2015).

Lower magnesium levels were also correlated with higher cholesterol and LDL, the so called bad cholesterol, and higher magnesium levels with better HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. This was in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.


Magnesium has also been found to be inversely associated with osteoarthritis documented on x-rays and joint space narrowing (Zeng C,, 2015).

Glucosamine sulfate another nutritional substance has been used to treat osteoarthritis for many years.

When osteoarthritic chondrocytes (cartilage cells) and glucosamine sulfate were tested in different ways in a culture, it was found that glucosamine sulfate reduced the synthesis of proinflammatory mediators (Largo R,, 2003).

Taking magnesium and glucosamine sulfate could according to this possibly benefit both your cardiovascular system and your joints.

The best form of magnesium is an amino acid chelate like magnesium glycinate.

The most common form of magnesium is magnesium oxide, but that is a gastrointestinal irritant and can give you diarrhea when taken in higher amounts.



Chavan, V. U., Ramavataram, D. V. S. S., Patel, P. A., & Rupani, M. P. (2015). Evaluation of serum magnesium, lipid profile and various biochemical parameters as risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR, 9(4), BC01.

Hoeven, T. A., Kavousi, M., Clockaerts, S., Kerkhof, H. J., van Meurs, J. B., Franco, O., … & Bierma-Zeinstra, S. (2012). Association of atherosclerosis with presence and progression of osteoarthritis: the Rotterdam Study. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, annrheumdis-2011.

Largo R, Alvarez-Soria MA, Díez-Ortego I, Calvo E, Sánchez-Pernaute O, Egido J, Herrero-Beaumont G. Glucosamine inhibits IL-1beta-induced NFkappaB activation in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes.Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2003 Apr;11(4):290-8.

Zeng C, Li H, Wei J, Yang T, Deng ZH, Yang Y, Zhang Y, Yang TB, Lei GH. Association between Dietary Magnesium Intake and Radiographic Knee Osteoarthritis. PLoS One. 2015 May 26;10(5):e0127666.





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Can free radicals clog up your arteries?

Posted by on 9:45 am Heart disease | 0 comments

Yes they can.

Oxidative stress is recognized as an important factor in the creation of cardiovascular disease.

The following research is interesting because the participants were 114 healthy non-smokers without any known atherosclerosis (Ashfaq  S, et al. 2006).

Oxidative stress was estimated by measuring blood levels of glutathione, it’s oxidized form and also their redox state in addition to other factors related to oxidative stress.

The carotid intima-media thickness was measured using ultrasound.

The findings showed that the glutathione redox state, which is a measurement of intracellular oxidative stress, is an independent predictor of the presence of early atherosclerosis in an otherwise healthy population.

What can you do about it?

You can take glutathione to be sure your cells are not depleted.

You have to get glutathione into the cells, and regular glutathione does not get into the cells.

There is only one form of glutathione available which has shown to get into the cells and that is S-Acetyl Glutathione (Cacciatore I, et al. 2010). 

Ashfaq S1, Abramson JL, Jones DP, Rhodes SD, Weintraub WS, Hooper WC, Vaccarino V, Harrison DG, Quyyumi AA. The relationship between plasma levels of oxidized and reduced thiols and early atherosclerosis in healthy adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Mar 7;47(5):1005-11. Epub 2006 Feb 9.
Cacciatore I1, Cornacchia C, Pinnen F, Mollica A, Di Stefano A. Prodrug approach for increasing cellular glutathione levels. Molecules. 2010 Mar 3;15(3):1242-64. doi: 10.3390/molecules15031242.

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Glutathione is your primary defense against aging, but regular glutathione is oxidized (destroyed in the stomach) and provides little value. S-Acetyl Glutathione is easily absorbed and provides protection.

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Well proven, but often overlooked cardiovascular risk factor

Posted by on 9:45 am Heart disease | 0 comments

When we think about cardiovascular risk factors, we usually think of high cholesterol.

Cholesterol lowering drugs like statins are the best selling drugs ever and sells for billions every year.

However, high cholesterol is not the only cardiovascular risk factor even if it gets the most attention.

Another risk factor is low grade inflammation even if your doctor may not talk much about that.

There is another well proven risk factor for cardiovascular disease no one usually thinks about, but that does not mean it is not important.

That risk factor is oxidative stress.

The impact of oxidative stress on the cardiovascular system has been investigated.

In on of these studies 114 healthy non-smokers had their carotid intima-media thickness measured using ultrasound (Ashfaq S, et al. 2006).

The intima-media thickness is a measurement of the inner layer of the blood vessel wall and is a way to evaluate atherosclerotic plaque, the buildup of deposits in the blood vessels.

In this study oxidative stress was estimated by measuring blood levels of glutathione which is an important intra cellular antioxidant.

Oxidized glutathione and its so called redox state was also measured.

The redox state is calculated by dividing glutathione with oxidized glutathione and can be looked at as the antioxidant capacity and a measurement of oxidative stress.

Other predictors of intima-media thickness were also measured, these were body mass index, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol and hs-CRP, an inflammatory marker.

The glutathione redox state which is a measurement of intracellular oxidative stress was found to be an independent predictor of early atherosclerosis in an otherwise healthy population.

The body is making glutathione, but we make less as we get older, and we use more since free radical damage to tissue is one of the reasons we age.

Glutathione can be taken as a supplement, but most of the glutathione on the market comes in a form which is not very effective because most of it is oxidized (destroyed) in the stomach.

You need to take glutathione in a form which gets into the cells where it provides protection.

S-Acetyl Glutathione has shown to get into the cells, and it can easily be taken in capsule form.


Ashfaq S1, Abramson JL, Jones DP, Rhodes SD, Weintraub WS, Hooper WC, Vaccarino V, Harrison DG, Quyyumi AA. The relationship between plasma levels of oxidized and reduced thiols and early atherosclerosis in healthy adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Mar 7;47(5):1005-11. Epub 2006 Feb 9.

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Glutathione is your primary defense against aging, but regular glutathione is oxidized (destroyed in the stomach) and provides little value. S-Acetyl Glutathione is easily absorbed and provides protection.

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Does protein affect your risk for cardiovascular disease?

Posted by on 8:21 am Heart disease | 0 comments

When we think of cardiovascular disease risk, we have been told to pay attention to how much fat we eat.

If you have followed the more up to date research, you have discovered that it is not really how much fat you eat, but rather what kind of fat you eat that is important.

The type of fat we find in nuts reduce our risk, and saturated animal fat increases the risk.

That’s what we find if we scrutinize the research more closely, even if some people will tell you otherwise.

So what about the protein we eat, can that affect our cardiovascular risk?

Yes, it can.

When 43,960 men between the age of 40 and 75 years were followed for 18 years, they found that higher intake of animal protein was associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease (Preis SR, et al. 2010).

The research is provided as a free article.

If you follow the link we have provided, you can access the whole article and read some interesting facts at the end under “Discussion”.

This also holds true for women.

When 29,017 women, followed for 15 years, substituted carbohydrates and animal protein for vegetable protein, cardiovascular mortality decreased by 30% (Kelemen LE, et al. 2005).

What are good sources of vegetable protein?

Beans and nuts.

They are not only good sources of vegetable protein, but also a good source of high nutrient low glycemic index carbohydrates and healthy fat.

That seems to be the reason why these women reduced their cardiovascular risk when carbohydrates were substituted for vegetable protein.

They decreased their intake of grains and ate more beans and nuts.

Kelemen LE1, Kushi LH, Jacobs DR Jr, Cerhan JR. Associations of dietary protein with disease and mortality in a prospective study of postmenopausal women. Am J Epidemiol. 2005 Feb 1;161(3):239-49.
Preis SR1, Stampfer MJ, Spiegelman D, Willett WC, Rimm EB. Dietary protein and risk of ischemic heart disease in middle-aged men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1265-72. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29626. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

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Omega 3 fatty acids and your arteries.

Posted by on 9:45 am Fish Oil, Heart disease | 0 comments

Arteries usually get stiffer as we get older.

I review at a lot of research, and my conclusion is that it is not how many years you have lived that is the most important factor, but your lifestyle and nutritional habits.

Eating healthy anti-inflammatory food and stressing your body regularly with effective exercises, needs to be one of your priorities if you want to stay healthy.

This does not have to be complicated or take a lot of time.

There are also some very simple things you can do which can make a difference.

This research investigated one of those things.

Increased central arterial stiffness can be one of the factors contributing to increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

A measure of that was used in this study.

Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured in young and older healthy participants (Monahan KD, et al. 2015).

For 12 weeks they were given 4 g of omega 3 fatty acid supplements per day.

Each capsule contained 465 mg of EPA and 375 mg of DHA, the active ingredients of omega 3 fatty acids, and they took 4 capsules per day.

After the 12 weeks when they were measured again, the PWV had decreased in the older participants, but not in the young.

These results indicate that omega 3 supplementation decreases an important measure of central arterial stiffness if you are older.

The participants took quite a high dose of EPA and DHA daily, so you need to take a formula which has higher amounts of these nutrients.

Contaminants in fish have shown to counteract the benefits of omega 3 fat, so you need to take a high quality omega 3 formula.

Monahan KD1, Feehan RP2, Blaha C2, McLaughlin DJ2. Effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on central arterial stiffness and arterial wave reflections in young and older healthy adults. Physiol Rep. 2015 Jun;3(6). pii: e12438. doi: 10.14814/phy2.12438.

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