Managing Hypercholesterolaemia

Wednesday, 03 April 2019 by

appleAn Apple a Day, Pomegranate, and Bergamot Citrus for a Cholesterol and Whole-Health Solution

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is a phrase that many have heard since youth, likely spoken by a carer who was trying to get some fruit into a picky eater. Science has also proven the benefits of this wisdom.[i] Pomegranate has a similar reputation, particularly with respect to cardiovascular health. And a fast up-and-comer is the bergamot citrus, with cholesterol-lowering benefits at the top of its list of virtues. But does the data actually support the purported benefits of these fruits? A look at the clinical studies suggest it does, at least where cardiovascular health is concerned.

JAND_v115_i1_COVER.inddDo it.

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]

It’s not just your mood that the dark months of winter can influence. Low levels of sunlight also mean lower levels of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D deficiency can trigger a range of diseases but until recently little was known about the exact biological mechanisms behind this. A research team at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has now decrypted one of these unknown molecular mechanisms. Vitamin D regulates the elasticity of blood vessels and thus also affects blood pressure amplitude. The results were published earlier this year in the journal Molecular Endocrinology.[1]

What’s Best – Low Sodium or High Minerals

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 by | Comments: 2

A recent Cochrane review suggests that diabetic patients should keep to a low salt diet to prevent diabetic kidney disease. Their collaboration review looked at 13 studies. These included 254 patients suffering from type 1 and type 11 diabetes and noted that reducing salt intake by a whopping 8.5mg per day matched the effects experienced from a single antihypertensive medication (7.1/3.1 mmHg – type 1, 6.9/2.9 mmHg type 11).[1] They also acknowledged that this was a short study – so the effect was noticed in just 7 days, but that it would be difficult to maintain over a longer period.

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]

Journal of Nutrition CoverIn the management of patients for hypertension and weight, linked to metabolic syndrome, we will find ourselves saying – eat more fruits and vegetables without always giving them our full attention – well I do anyway!

A paper just out in the Journal of Nutrition describes the effects of consuming 50gm of freeze dried blueberry smoothie equivalent they suggest to -350g of fresh blueberries for eight weeks by 48 participants (44 women & 4 men) with an average age of 50 and BMI of 38kg/m2.[1]

This was not just a simple watch and see trial, they randomised it with a placebo, so whilst the numbers are small the methodology is sound. The controls were asked to consume 960ml of water daily – even this had an effect as I have previously described.

The objective of this study was to examine the effects of nattokinase supplementation on blood pressure in subjects with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 86 participants ranging from 20 to 80 years of age with an initial untreated systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 130 to 159 mmHg received nattokinase (2,000 FU/capsule) or a placebo capsule for 8 weeks. Seventy-three subjects completed the protocol. Compared with the control group, the net changes in SBP and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were -5.55 mmHg (95% confidence interval [CI], -10.5 to -0.57 mmHg; p<0.05) and -2.84 mmHg (CI, -5.33 to -0.33 mmHg; p<0.05), respectively, after the 8-week intervention. The corresponding net change in renin activity was -1.17 ng/mL/h for the nattokinase group compared with the control group (p<0.05). In conclusion, nattokinase supplementation resulted in a reduction in SBP and DBP. These findings suggest that increased intake of nattokinase may play an important role in preventing and treating hypertension.