Blueberries contain flavonoids and it is the flavonoids that provide all the health benefits.
The following study showed that daily 1-month blueberry consumption increased flow-mediated dilation as well as lowered systolic blood pressure (Rodriguez-Mateos A, et.al., 2019).
The more blueberries are researched, the more impressive they look.
Flow-mediated dilation is a measurement of endothelial function (the endothelium is the inner lining of the blood vessels).
When flow-mediated dilation was measured in healthy men after blueberry flavonoid intake, the researchers found a dose-dependent increase up to an intake of 766 mg polyphenols (Rodriguez-Mateos A, et.al., 2013). The increase was seen from 1-6 hours after the intake.
Blueberries can be used to help protect the blood vessels from damage as the following study shows.
Human aortic endothelial cells showed a reduced expression of inflammatory markers after being exposed to substances found from blueberry consumption (Cutler BR, et.al., 2018).
100 g of blueberries twice daily would give you protection the whole day. While fresh blueberries are expensive, frozen blueberries are better priced. Adding blueberries to your diet daily would give you these benefits.
You may not have heard about Trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), but this metabolite is created by the bacterial flora in the gut in response to certain food components. This is the process. TMAO originates from a precursor, trimethylamine (TMA) that is a metabolite of mainly choline and carnitine from ingested foods and may be involved in insulin resistance (Oellgaard J, et.al., 2017). Why is TMAO important? TMAO may not only increase the risk for insulin resistance, but also TMAO appears to be of particular importance as a risk factor and potentially a causative agent of various pathologies, mostly cardiovascular disease and other associated conditions (Al-Rubaye H, et.al., 2018). Dietary l-carnitine is converted into the atherosclerosis- and thrombosis-promoting metabolite TMAO via gut microbiota-dependent transformations. TMAO transformation is induced by omnivorous dietary patterns and chronic l-carnitine exposure (Koeth RA, et.al., 2019 ).
There are many reasons why eating a plant based diet makes sense. This research included 131, 342 participants. Of this, 85 013 were women (64.7%) and 46 329 were men (35.3%) (Song M, et.al., 2016).
The researchers found that high animal protein intake was positively associated with cardiovascular mortality, and high plant protein intake was inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Processed red meat was the most harmful form of animal protein these researchers found.
The type of fat we eat is also important because we react differently depending on the source. We know that it is important to have a healthy endothelial function because the endothelium is the inner layer of the blood vessels.
We also know the importance of having low inflammation since that’s a risk factor for all chronic diseases and especially cardiovascular disease. This study indicated that exchanging saturated fat from butterfat for a plant-based fat consisting of polyunsaturated fatty acids in a mixed meal may decrease inflammation after the meal when measured with the inflammatory markers IL-6 and TNF-alpha (Masson CJ, Mensink RP, 2011). Soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, a protein related to the endothelium and a marker of atherosclerosis, was also decreased after the meal containing the plant-based fat.
Increased oxidative stress has been documented in the frontal cortex in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and in patients with mild cognitive impairment (Ansari, MA 2010). One of the emerging causative factors associated with Alzheimer’s pathology is oxidative stress. This AD-related increase in oxidative stress has been attributed to decreased levels of the brain antioxidant, glutathione (Saharan and Mandal, 2014).
The body uses antioxidants to limit the damage done by oxidative stress and glutathione is the body’s most effective self-made antioxidant. Glutathione is a part of the body’s natural defense against free radical damage.
The following study used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure glutathione levels in both healthy individuals and patients with alzheimer’s disease (Mandal PK et. al, 2015).
The researchers found a reduction of glutathione in both the hippocampus and frontal cortex–which are two different areas of the brain–in Alzheimer’s patients. It is interesting to note that glutathione reduction in those regions correlated with a decline in cognitive function. The researchers concluded that the study provides compelling evidence that the glutathione levels in specific brain regions are relevant markers for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
So how can we ensure that our glutathione levels remain at healthy levels? One way is to add it into our daily routine via supplementation. It is now possible to supply glutathione in a bioavailable form–which gets it into the cells where it is needed–and that is by using S-Acetyl Glutathione (Cacciatore et. al., 2010).
The body is making less glutathione as we get older, that happens to everybody, but some are making less than others.
It is common knowledge that having high blood sugar levels is damaging to our health, but in what way is it harmful to us?
Having high blood glucose levels causes oxidation of glucose and a reaction causing glycation of proteins. These reactions cause tissue damage and create a lot of free radicals. This also decreases the activity of superoxide dismutase–which is the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. This decrease in antioxidant activity again will increase the oxidative stress in a seemingly endless cycle.
This oxidation and glycation reaction chain has shown to alter the mitochondria–which are the energy-producing entities of the cell–and has shown to be involved in a variety of diseases (Edeas, et. al., 2009). The damaged mitochondria will produce less ATP (energy) than a normal mitochondria. Additionally, the damaged mitochondria cannot use glucose or lipids in a normal way. This means that a person with high blood sugar is unable to produce as much energy as they should.
So what can be done to offset the production of these advanced glycation-end products? The researchers of this study show that curcumin could suppress the advanced glycation-end products and also stimulate the synthesis of glutathione (Stefanska, 2012).
It is also important to eat food with a high nutrient content and low glycemic index, but you can take curcumin to help reduce damage from higher glucose levels. Just be sure that the curcumin you take is well absorbed since regular curcumin is not.
Taking S-Acetyl Glutathione is also an excellent way to get protection from the negative effects of elevated blood glucose, it works really well. Taking regular glutathione is not effective since it is oxidised in the stomach and not very bioavailable. Don’t waste your money.