Wellness Database: Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world and in the United States. Heart disease caused by high blood pressure and high cholesterol often result in heart attack and stroke. Obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, and poor nutrition contribute to cardiovascular disease. Boosting nitric oxide levels, consuming antioxidants, and following a Mediterranean Diet can help to prevent or reverse heart disease.
Flaxseed May Reduce Cholesterol and Hyperglycemia in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus
Summary: Flaxseeds may have a therapeutic role to play in the management of diabetes mellitus. Subjects in this study were assigned to the flaxseed consumption (FS)(n = 18) or a control group (n = 11) on the basis of their desire to participate in the study. Treatment group received daily 10 g of FS powder for 1 month. The control group received no supplementation or placebo. Results indicated that supplementation with FS reduced fasting blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. These results suggest flaxseed powder may benefit diabetics.
Protein Lowers Blood Pressure in Overweight Adults
Summary: Increased protein was found to be associated with reductions in blood pressure in overweight adults in this study. A randomized, double-blind, parallel study compared consumption of protein (20% pea, 20% soy, 30% egg, and 30% milk-protein isolate/ 20g 3xp/d) with maltodextrin (20g 3xp/d) over a 4 week period. Subjects were men and women (n=99; 20-70 y; BMI (in kg/m2): 25-35) with untreated elevated blood pressure (BP). Primary outcomes were office and daytime BP. Results showed lower office systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in the protein group. Daytime SBP lower in the protein group but daytime DBP did not differ between groups. Urinary sodium excretion was higher in the maltodextrin group. Increased protein intake, at the expense of maltodextrin, may lower BP in overweight adults with upper-range prehypertension and grade 1 hypertension.
Beet Juice May Help Reduce Blood Pressure
Summary: In two studies involving normotensive men, beetroot was found to reduce blood pressure. Researchers conducted two separate, randomly controlled, single-blind, cross-over, postprandial studies in normotensive volunteers. Ambulatory blood pressure (BP) was measured over a 24 h period following consumption of either beetroot juice (0, 100, 250, 500 g; n=18) or bread products (control bread (0 g beetroot), red beetroot- or white beetroot-enriched breads (n=14)). Total urinary nitrate/nitrite (NOx) was measured at baseline, and at 2, 4 and 24 h post-ingestion. Beet juice (BJ) consumption lowered systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) over a period of 24 h, compared with water control. Bread products enriched with 100 g red or white beetroot lowered SBP and DBP over a period of 24 h. Total urinary NOx increased following the consumption of BJ and red beetroot-enriched bread but for white beetroot-enriched bread. Results demonstrated potential hypotensive effects of a low dose (100 g) of beetroot and suggest evidence for cardioprotective BP-lowering effects of dietary nitrate-rich vegetables.
Omega-3 Supplementation May Help Prevent Atherosclerosis
Summary: The effects of omega-3 supplementation on plasma concentrations of soluble adhesion molecules were assessed in this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (n=18). Researchers found that omega-3 supplementation reduced plasma concentrations of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1(sICAM-1), but had no significant effects on soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, in healthy subjects and in subjects with dyslipidemia. Researchers conclude that omega-3 supplementation can reduce plasma concentrations of sICAM-1, and may be effective as a primary or secondary means for preventing the development and the progression of atherosclerosis.
Statin Patients May Benefit From Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Summary: Combination of statins and omega-3 fatty acids may inhibit symptoms associated with high cholesterol. Study followed patients (n=32), 30-70 years old, with hypercholesterolemia controlled by statins. Subjects received sequential treatments with placebo followed by 1.9 g/day of omega-3 fatty acids for 23 weeks. Physical examination, 24-h blood pressure measurement, endothelial function, platelet function, inflammation markers, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and oxidative stress parameters were undertaken at baseline, after placebo treatment, and after 6 and 20 weeks of omega-3 fatty acid intake. Researchers found that platelet aggregation was significantly inhibited, inflammation was decreased, oxidative stress remained unaffected and daytime blood pressure significantly decreased. Researchers assert that the combination of statins and omega-3 fatty acid may inhibit platelet aggregation, alter inflammatory status, and positively affect daytime blood pressure.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation May Improve Endothelial Function
Summary: In a meta-analysis of 16 randomized, placebo-controlled trials including 901 subjects, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was found to significantly improve endothelial function without affecting endothelium-independent dilation. Researchers assessed the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on endothelial function, as measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and endothelium-independent vasodilation (EIV). Results suggest a protective effect of omega-3 fatty acids on endothelial function.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help Prevent Atherosclerosis
Summary: In a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of omega-3 PUFA supplementation on plasma concentrations of soluble adhesion molecules - an indicator of atherosclerotic disease - results from 18 studies were analyzed and omega-3 PUFA supplementation was found to reduce plasma concentrations of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, while having no significant effects on soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1. According to subgroup analysis, omega-3 PUFAs reduced slCAM-1 concentration in healthy subjects and in subjects with dyslipidemia. The authors conclude that these results support "the hypothesis that n-3 PUFA can be supplemented as a primary or secondary means for preventing the development as well as the progression of atherosclerosis."
Reference: "Effects of n-3 PUFA supplementation on plasma soluble adhesion molecules: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials," Yang Y, Lu N, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Feb 29; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Cardiology, Bethune First Hospital of Jilin University, China, and Sino-German Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, Hypertension Division, Fu Wai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China).
Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Be Beneficial for Statin Users
Summary: In a study involving 3,740 consistent statin drug users and 413 consistent non-statin users, low-dose supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with a history of MI who are not being treated with statins. Subjects were randomized to receive supplementation with 400 mg/d EPA plus DHA, 2 g alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), or both, or placebo. 13% of statin-users and 15% of non-statin users developed a major cardiovascular event. Among non-statin users, 9% of those who received EPA-DHA plus ALA were found to experience a major cardiovascular event, as compared to 18% in the placebo group (HR=0.46); no such corresponding benefit was found among statin users. The authors conclude, "This study suggests that statin treatment modifies the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the incidence of major cardiovascular events."
Reference: "Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on major cardiovascular events in statin users and non-users with a history of myocardial infarction," Eussen SR, Geleijnse JM, et al, Eur Heart J, 2012 Feb 1; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80082, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands).
Low Antioxidant Levels Could be Important Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Summary: Study authors investigated anthropometric measurements, body composition, and serum antioxidant vitamin levels in men with coronary heart disease (CHD). Men (n=35) with CHD and men (n=31) without CHD, aged 40 - 65 years, were included in the study. Fat mass (FM) and the percentage of fat mass (FM%) in men with CHD was higher than in men without CHD. Lipid profiles were found to be similar in both groups, with the exception of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). Men with CHD had lower HDL-C levels than men without CHD (p < 0.05). Vitamin E intake in men without CHD was found to be less than in men with CHD. Serum vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C levels in CHD were found to be lower than without CHD. Researchers conclude that high FM, low HDL-C, and low serum antioxidant vitamin levels could be important risk factors for CHD.
Vitamin D May Be Beneficial For Men With Heart Disease
Summary: Free testosterone (FT) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (vitD) were evaluated for impact of parallel deficiency in a large cohort of older men (n= 2069) referred for coronary angiography. Researchers found an increased risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular mortality in men with both low FT and vita and that combined deficiency of FT and VitD may be significantly associated with fatal events.
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Nutrients and Diet
Alpha Lipoic Acid Amino Acids Antioxidants Arginine Calcium Carnitine Carotene Chromium Picolinate Citrulline Coenzyme Q10 DHEA Fat Fiber Fruit and Vegetables Garlic Ginkgo Biloba Glucosamine Vegetarian Diet Green Tea Iron Lutein Lycopene Magnesium Mediterranean Diet Multivitamins Nitric Oxide Nuts Olives Omega 3 Fatty Acids Policosanols Polyphenols Pomegranate Probiotics Pycnogenol Red Yeast Rice Salt Saffron Selenium Soy Theanine Vitamin A Vitamin B Vitamin C Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K White Tea Zinc