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Just one cup of blueberries per day could be the key to reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness, both of which are associated with cardiovascular disease.

The studies findings suggest that regular consumption of blueberries could potentially delay the progression of prehypertension to hypertension, therefore reducing cardiovascular disease risk.[1]

Vit C For Heart Health

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 by

In a paper published in the journal Atherosclerosis, the authors of the published article – Effect of vitamin C on endothelial function in health and disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.[1]  identified a specific improvement in one aspect related to arterial/vascular health, namely endothelial function.

The normal artery contains three layers. The inner layer, the tunica intima, is lined by a monolayer of endothelial cells (EC) that is in contact with blood. The middle layer, or tunica media, contains smooth muscle cells embedded in a complex extracellular matrix. The adventitia, the outer layer of artery, contains mast cells, nerve endings and microvessels. The direct contact of ECs with the blood flow means that they are particularly vulnerable to damage molecules in the blood on one hand, and that they have ideally “guard” roles on the other hand (i.e., sensing alterations in perfusate constituents and either responding directly or transmitting reactive signals to nearby cells, such as smooth vascular cells).

Consequently endothelial dysfunction contributes to the development of nearly all vascular diseases.

Eating just 1 serving daily of legumes such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas can significantly reduce “bad cholesterol” and the risk of heart disease, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).[1]

High cholesterol levels are commonly associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, yet in the main they are modifiable through diet and other lifestyle choices. Most chronic disease prevention guidelines recommend consumption of non–oil-seed legumes (dietary pulses) such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas along with other vegetables and fruits as part of a healthy diet, although they have not made specific recommendations based on direct lipid-lowering benefits.

It’s one of those great paradoxes, that trouble researcher’s, clinicians and their patients – why is there so much variable information about the role diet has in heart health and why can we not have a universally agreed approach to one of the world’s greatest killers. After all it is estimated by the Heart Foundation that by 2020, heart disease will be the leading cause of death throughout the world.

So when a heart controversy related to dietary choices reaches a position of virtual irrefutability we should all take a step back and look hard at what this evidence is and then we should feel a strong desire to implement the recommendations in our personal and clinical lives.

Ask any Nutritional Therapist about coffee consumption and I expect that 9 times out of ten they will seek to reduce someone’s intake – as someone who does not drink coffee the idea of giving something up that I do not consume is easy. But, for many the challenge is not simply exclusion but appropriate utilisation – because as with all foods and beverages there is a bell shaped curve between benefit and loss.

Chocolate is Heart Felt!

Thursday, 22 September 2011 by

How many times have we been faced with the decision about whether to pass or to consume that bar of chocolate, confident that by doing so we have added not only virtue to our lives but also longevity by steering clear of unwanted fats and sugars.

Well for the coco enthusiast a paper out in the late August version of the British Medical Journal may add weight to your preliminary discussion …. it’s good for me.[1]

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Salt- Heart Disease and Industry

Wednesday, 03 November 2010 by | Comments: 2

There is of course a well-known relationship between sodium chloride and hypertension[1] and we all make comments when we see the enthusiastic application of table salt onto food or add in the making of food. These are the visible uses of this flavour enhancer, but it is the salt used in food manufacturing that represents the largest exposure for most people.

A recent paper out in Nov 2010 in the BMJ Heart & Education explores the painfully slow progress towards suitable reductions.[2] Many countries do recommend restricting daily sodium intake to 100 mmol (approximately 6 g of table salt) or less, but in a recent review of world salt levels, only seven out of the 25 countries reviewed met this goal suggesting a lack of legislative pressure and social interest.[3]

CAM Conference 2010-Heart Care

Wednesday, 05 May 2010 by | Comments: 2

Michael Ash BSc (Hons) DO ND F.DipION is presenting a functional medicine approach to patients with cardiovascular disease using nutrition and the immune system to provide evidence based strategies to assist in the care of affected patients. The CAM conference series three lecture, will be held at Cavendish Conference Centre, London on the 14th May 2010. Other speakers will help make this a very informative and strategic day.

Cardiovascular disease continues to be the number 1 cause of preventable death in the industrialised world as confirmed by a recent report undertaken in the UK. some 5000 patients followed up in the United Kingdom’s Whitehall Study, which began in the 1960s has revealed that just three cardiovascular risk factors shortened their life span by  a whole decade.

A series of papers out in the New England Journal of medicine on March the 14th 2010 have failed to add any substantive weight to the use of medication in the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. [1],[2],[3]

The continued expansion of the western global waistline and incidence of diabetes has provided fertile opportunity for a wide range of clinical trials designed to uncover strategies for incidence of diabetes reduction.[4] There is no surprise in the discovery that making significant changes to people’s lifestyles, eating less and being more active, the primary causes of weight gain, also have a consistent reduction in type II diabetes risk. The real success has also been in the associated benefits in reduction of related cardiovascular disease risk[5] and raising of mood.[6]

Background: Consumption of nuts has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease events and death. Walnuts in particular have a unique profile: they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may improve blood lipids and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.

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