Posts Tagged Cardiovascular Disease

Vitamin D Increases Muscle Power in Young Girls

via: NaturalSociety
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 29, 2012

A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to everything from osteoporosis to cardiovascular disease. A study out of England shows that it is also linked to a lack of muscle power, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

In the study, adolescent inner city girls were tested for vitamin D levels. Seventy-five percent of them were found to have low levels of the vitamin, though none had visible, physical symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

The girls were tested in a serious of exercises called “jumping mechanography,” which measures the power and force behind jumping movements. Those test subjects without vitamin D deficiency performed much better on the analysis.

“These data highlight the importance of vitamin D status on muscle function in adolescent girls. Sub-optimal force might have implications for long-term bone development,” according to the researchers.

While the study focused specifically on young girls, the results could very likely be replicated in young men alike. Women, however, are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.

Most people are able to get sufficient vitamin D from the sun, but most people are still deficient. This could be because they don’t spend enough time outdoors, don’t live in a climate where sunshine is frequent, or because they stay covered or out of the sun when outside.

Supplements are another option for increasing vitamin D in the body as well, with vitamin D3 being the most effective and safest form (also produced by direct sunlight.) Also, it occurs naturally in salmon, tuna, and fortified milk and cereals.

Another point of interest from this particular study is that they chose subjects who were more likely to come from poverty – showing that there is a chance that the study subjects were deficient in other nutrients because of this. This may have also played a role in the results of their strength and power measurements.

This fact highlights an important issue: that those of us without money for and access to healthy foods suffer in a multitude of ways, even from an early age.

Additional Sources:

JCEM.EndoJournals

NutraIngredients

Read More At: NaturalSociety.com

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Accelerated Aging Could be Result of Chronic Anxiety

via: NaturalSociety
by: Kelsey Coy
July 17, 2012

Recent research from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston suggests that chronic panic, phobia and similar anxiety disorders may lead to accelerated aging by shortening telomeres, the DNA-protein complexes whose lengths serves as biomarkers of cells’ biological ages.

Chronic Anxiety Could Result in Accelerated Aging

In the study, telomere length was analyzed in 5,243 randomly selected women, 42 to 69 years of age. High phobic anxiety, as measured by the Crown-Crisp Experiential Index, was associated with shorter telomeres, even after accounting for additional factors known to affect telomere length such as paternal age-at-birth, smoking history, body-mass-index and physical activity. Researchers noted that the magnitude of difference in telomere length in the most phobic women corresponded to six years mored aged than average.

Earlier studies have demonstrated the link between chronic stress and accelerated telomere shortening- and consequent biological accelerated aging, but this is the first to so specifically examine anxiety’s role in the process. Accelerated telomere shortening has also been linked to DNA damage that may contribute to cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and dementia.

In their discussion of this phenomenon, the authors of this study emphasize that “phobic anxiety is treatable; thus, any potential impacts on telomere shortening may be amenable to prevention through early identification and treatment.”

There is certainly more investigation to be done in terms of fully understanding this process, its potential consequences and its potential treatments, but it is fairly safe to say that the amelioration of anxiety disorders, the most common mental illness in the U.S., currently affecting 18% of the adult population and more children than ever before, merits our attention.

Rather than feed our anxiety epidemic with this new information, why not slow down, take a deep breath, and consider adding yoga for depression and anxiety? You can also try forest bathing, or simply known as a walk in the woods. Surely the six years you stand to gain will be worth it. Additionally, there are numerous methods to prevent aging – all you must do is recognize them and implement them in your daily life. Accelerated aging can be prevented – you just have to know how to do it!

Additional Sources:

Medical News: Chronic Anxiety Speeds Aging

Read More At: NaturalSociety.com

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Vitamin B6 deficit promotes inflammation, heart disease and cognitive decline

via: NaturalNews
Thursday, July 12, 2012
By: John Phillip

[NaturalNews] As cardiovascular disease continues to take the lives of millions of unsuspecting individuals worldwide, a continual stream of scientific evidence is emerging to show that many who suffer from this illness could be spared by relatively simple dietary and lifestyle interventions. Prior studies have shown that low vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP)) status are the root cause behind most inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes and new research indicates that vitamin B6 and B12 deficiencies are linked to cognitive decline and depression.

Researchers reporting in The Journal of Nutrition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University in Boston have now provided conclusive evidence that low levels of vitamin B6 significantly increases the risk for diseases mediated by systemic inflammation, with special emphasis on the leading cause of mortality in the US, cardiovascular disease. Including natural foods such as leafy greens (spinach and kale), seeds and nuts to your diet may go a long way to cut the risks associated with heart disease, loss of cognition and early death.

Vitamins B6 and B12 are essential to prevent cognitive decline and depression

Researchers examined 2,229 men and women as part of the Framingham Offspring study and found that those individuals with the lowest plasma levels of vitamin B6, experienced the highest rise in circulating inflammatory markers. The study monitored 13 individual inflammatory markers, including interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha and intercellular adhesion molecule-1, each known to be an independent risk factor in increased risk of inflammation and cardiovascular disease in particular.

Additional evidence supporting the importance of B vitamins is presented in The Journal of Nutrition to demonstrate that both vitamin B6 and B12 are essential to prevent cognitive decline and team together to provide natural relief from depression. Prior studies have demonstrated that supplementation with both B vitamins lowers damaging levels of the amino acid homocysteine and are associated with improvements in a range of mental tests including global cognition and spatial memory.

Using questionnaires to assess dietary and health factors, researchers analyzed the data to determine that low vitamin B12 concentrations were associated with higher scores to assess degree of depression and low B6 status related to poor mental status, a measure of cognitive abilities. The full spectrum of B vitamins are essential to energy metabolism in the human body and the latest research confirms that a well-balanced diet and daily supplementation can help prevent a range of chronic, debilitating conditions including heart disease, dementia and depression.

Sources for this article include:

http://jn.nutrition.org
http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Prevention/33532
http://jn.nutrition.org
http://www.nutraingredients.com

Source: NaturalNews.com

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The Remarkable Healing Properties of Pumpkin Seed

via: GreenMedInfo
by: Sayer Ji
July 7, 2012

Pumpkin seeds, like all edible seeds, pack an immense nutritional  and medicinal punch. After all, they contain future worlds within their compact structure. As Emerson said, “the creation of a thousand forests is within one acorn.”

In order to prepare their “babies” for survival outside the pumpkin, Nature equips these seeds with an extremely dense source of organically-bound nutrients, including exceptionally high levels of key, health-promoting minerals.

For example, a one cup serving (64 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 44% daily value (DV) of zinc, 22% of copper, 42% magnesium, 16% manganese, 17% potassium, and enough iron (17% DV) to improve iron-deficiency associated anemia.

But beyond the obvious nutritional virtues of the seed, recent scientific investigations have revealed that pumpkin seed meal, as well as its pressed oil, may have great value in alleviating the following conditions:

Prostate Growth: pumpkin seed has been studied for its ability to inhibit testosterone-induced prostate growth, a common causative factor in benign prostatic hyperplasia.[i] [ii]

Postmenopausal Symptoms: Women supplemented with 2,000 mg of pumpkin seed oil over the course of 12 weeks were found to have reduced blood pressure, increased HDL cholesterol, as well as reduction in the severity of hormone insufficiency associated symptoms, e.g. hot flash, headaches and join pain.[iii]  Additional experimental research indicates that adverse cardiovascular changes associated with estrogen deficiency, such as blood pressure and lipid abnormalities, can be mitigated with pumpkin seed oil. [iv]

Calcium-Oxalate Kidney Stones: According to a study performed in 1987 and published in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children with calcium-oxalate crystals in their urine responded favorably to the supplementation of their diet with pumpkin seeds.[v]

Cardiovascular and Liver Disease: A mixture of flaxseed and pumpkin seed was found to have heart-protective and liver-protective properties in an animal study from 2008 published in the Journal of Food Chemistry & Toxicology.[vi]

Drug & Chemical Toxicity: The protein isolate of pumpkin seed has been shown to alleviate acetaminophen (Tylenol) toxicity on the liver,[vii] and as methotrexate-induced small intestine damage in an animal model.[viii] It has also been studied to protect against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury.[ix]

Arthritis: Pumpkin seed oil was found to compare favorably with the NSAID drug indomethacin in an experimental model of arthritis, but without causing liver damage, in a study published in 1995 in the journal of Pharmacological Research.[x]

Hypertension: Animals fed pumpkin seed oil were found to respond more favorably to conventional drug-treatment with Ace-inhibitors and  Calcium Channel Blockers, likely because of its beneficial antioxidant properties.[xi]

Parasites: A preclinical canine study has shown that pumpkin seeds have significant activity againstcanine intestinal parasites.[xii]

Insomnia/Anxiety:  Pumpkin seeds contain a high level of tryptophan (22mg/gram of pumpkin seed protein), the amino acid precursor to serotonin – which is itself converted to melatonin, the “sleep hormone,” in the evening. Research published in 2007 in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that when de-oiled pumpkin seed  was taken in combination with glucose, a clinical effect similar to that of pharmaceutical-grade tryptophan was achieved.[xiii]  A 2005 study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience found that pumpkin seed sourced tryptophan in combination with carbohydrate was as effective as pharmaceutical tryptophan in reducing awake time during the night.

These, of course, are only some of the experimentally confirmed beneficial properties of pumpkin seed. Like all foods, there are likely countless properties which within the right context, the right timing, and the right amount, fulfill Hippocrates’ age-old and timelessly true proclamation that food can be our medicine.


[i] Inhibition of testosterone-induced hyperplasia of the prostate of sprague-dawley rats by pumpkin seed oil.  QJM. 2008 Mar;101(3):167-79. Epub 2008 Jan 25. PMID: 16822218

[ii] Pumpkin seed oil and phytosterol-F can block testosterone/prazosin-induced prostate growth in rats.  Urol Int. 2006;77(3):269-74. PMID: 17033217

[iii] Improvement in HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women supplemented with pumpkin seed oil: pilot study. Climacteric. 2011 May 5. Epub 2011 May 5. PMID: 21545273

[iv] Supplementation with pumpkin seed oil improves plasma lipid profile and cardiovascular outcomes of female non-ovariectomized and ovariectomized Sprague-Dawley rats. Phytother Res. 2008 Jul;22(7):873-7. PMID: 18567058

[v] The effect of pumpkin seeds on oxalcrystalluria and urinary compositions of children in hyperendemic area.  Am J Clin Nutr. 1987 Jan;45(1):115-21. PMID: 3799495

[vi] Hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective effects of flax and pumpkin seed mixture rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hypercholesterolemic rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Dec;46(12):3714-20. Epub 2008 Oct 1. PMID: 18938206

<p[vii] In Vitro antioxidative activity of pumpkin seed (Cucurbita pepo) protein isolate and its In Vivo effect on alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase in acetaminophen-induced liver injury in low protein fed rats. Phytother Res. 2006 Sep ;20(9):780-3. PMID: 16807884

[viii] Protective effect of ellagic acid and pumpkin seed oil against methotrexate-induced small intestine damage in rats. Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2011 Dec ;48(6):380-7. PMID: 22329239

<p[ix] Effect of pumpkin seed (Cucurbita pepo) protein isolate on the activity levels of certain plasma enzymes in CCl4-induced liver injury in low-protein fed rats.  Phytother Res. 2005 Apr ;19(4):341-5. PMID: 16041732

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[x] Effect of pumpkin-seed oil on the level of free radical scavengers induced during adjuvant-arthritis in rats. Pharmacol Res. 1995 Jan;31(1):73-9. PMID: 7784309

[xi] Pumpkin-seed oil modulates the effect of felodipine and captopril in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Pharmacol Res. 2000 May;41(5):555-63. PMID: 10753555

[xii] [Preclinical studies of cucurbita maxima (pumpkin seeds) a traditional intestinal antiparasitic in rural urban areas]. Rev Gastroenterol Peru. 2004 Oct-Dec;24(4):323-7. PMID: 15614300

[xiii] Protein-source tryptophan as an efficacious treatment for social anxiety disorder: a pilot study. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Sep;85(9):928-32. PMID: 18066139

Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo.com. His writings and research have been published in the Wellbeing Journal, the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, and have been featured on numerous websites, including Mercola.com, NaturalNews.com, Reuters.com, GaryNull.com, and Care2.com.

Source: GreenMedInfo.com 

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60 Minutes Report – Sugar Raises Your Uric Acid in Minutes & Wreaks Havoc on Blood Pressure, Insulin, & Kidneys

via: Mercola
by: Dr. Mercola
June 30, 2012

If you haven’t viewed the video at the top, please schedule 20 minutes and do so as you will thoroughly enjoy this 60 Minutes vindication of sugar’s dangers.

In a ground-breaking news story, 60 Minutes reports that new research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions is finding that sugar is a toxin that can lead to major chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

This is jolting to people who don’t realize that even if they don’t add it to their foods, hidden sugar, including high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is in virtually all processed foods, from yogurts and sauces to breads and sodas.

Although some experts argue that “sugar is sugar,” test subjects in strict clinical trials who were monitored 24 hours a day, who consumed HFCS, developed higher risk factors for cardiovascular disease within two weeks.

Other studies indicate that if you limit your sugar, no matter what form you get it in, you decrease your chances of developing cancer—including breast and colon cancers.

What’s even more startling is that a growing number of studies are also showing that the more sugar you eat, the less satisfied you are.

It Pays to Listen to Alternative Health Experts…

This is another perfect example of how it can take the conventional medical establishment YEARS to catch up to the truth.

I’ve been writing about the dangers of high sugar consumption for over 15 years, ever since I started this web site back in 1997, as this is (or at least should be) part of the very basics of “proper nutrition.”

So if you’re a longtime subscriber to this newsletter (or other alternative health news), you’ve had a tremendous head start.

As time went on, it first became increasingly clear that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was more problematic than regular sugar (sucrose), and later, that whichever form of sugar you consume, it can act as a literal toxin in your body when consumed in excess.

Back in the year 2000, I published the work of Bill Misner, Ph.D. in an article that was aptly named Killer Sugar—Suicide With a Spoon. Then, about two years ago, I came across one of Dr. Robert Lustig‘s lectures, and I immediately knew he was right—sugar is a toxin; at least in the high amounts most American’s are getting it in.

As Dr. Lustig states in his article on the website Diet Doctor:

“The problem with sugar isn’t just weight gain … A growing body of scientific evidence is showing that fructose can trigger processes that lead to liver toxicity and a host of other chronic diseases. A little is not a problem, but a lot kills — slowly.”

That same year, the brilliant work of Dr. Richard Johnson also convinced me that fructose is the worst of the two (although it’s really like choosing between two evils.) Now, finally, 60 Minutes, which is one of my favorite TV shows, has revealed the truth to the masses, and yes, some people are absolutely shocked by it. Interestingly, as I have gotten to know Dr. Johnson, I learned that I actually inspired him to pursue this topic further. Very shortly, we plan to be publishing his new book, The Fat Switch, which promises to turn the health world on its head with his exciting discoveries.

How High Fructose Corn Syrup has Decimated Human Health

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) entered the American market in 1975. Food and beverage manufacturers quickly began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup when they discovered that it could save them a lot of money. Sucrose costs about three times as much as HFCS. HFCS is also about 20 percent sweeter than table sugar, so you need less to achieve the same amount of sweetness.

Around that same time, dietary fats were blamed for heart disease, giving rise to the “low-fat craze,” which resulted in an explosion of processed nonfat and low fat convenience foods—most of which tasted like sawdust unless sugar was added. Fructose was then added to make all these fat-free products more palatable. Yet as the low-fat craze spread, rates of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity skyrocketed…

Clearly, this plan was seriously flawed from the get-go, and it’s not difficult to see that trading fat for sugar is not a wise move.

We now know, without a doubt, that it’s the excessive fructose content in the modern diet that is taking such a devastating toll on people’s health.

At the heart of it all is the fact that excessive fructose consumption leads to insulin resistance, and insulin resistance appears to be the root of many if not most chronic disease. Insulin resistance has even been found to be an underlying factor of cancer. Fructose also raises your uric acid levels—it typically generates uric acid within minutes of ingestion, which in turn can wreak havoc on your blood pressure, insulin production, and kidney function. So far, scientific studies have linked fructose to about 78 different diseases and health problemsii .

Continue Reading At: Mercola.com

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Harvard red meat study ignores health benefits of grass-fed meat

NaturalNews
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
By: Jonathan Benson

[NaturalNews] A recent study published by researchers from Harvard Medical School (HMC) claims that eating “red meat” can lead to an early death caused by heart problems or cancer. But just like most other studies conducted on meat, this one, which was published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, does not differentiate between red meat from feedlot cattle and red meat from grass-fed cattle, which are two entirely different foods with very different effects on health.

For their study, HMC researchers evaluated more than 120,000 people, including 37,698 men between 1986 and 2008, and 83,644 women between 1980 and 2008. Among these groupings, those individuals that were given an added portion of unprocessed red meat as part of their daily dietary regimen were found to be ten percent more likely to die from cancer, 18 percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, and 13 percent more likely to simply die early.

Similarly, those who ate an added serving of processed meat every day were found to be 16 percent more likely to die from cancer, 21 percent more likely to die from heart problems, and 20 percent more likely to die early.

“We found that a higher intake of red meat was associated with a significantly elevated risk of total, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality,” wrote the researchers in their study. “This association was observed for unprocessed and processed red meat with a relatively greater risk for processed red meat.”

Grain-fed, feedlot meat kills – but grass-fed, pastured meatcan help supportgood health

But is all red meat really the same? If you listen only to public health officials and many conventional scientists, the answer to this question is yes. But if you take a look at the science behind grass-fed meat and its clear compositional and nutritional differences compared to grain-fed, feedlot meat, you will see that making blanket statements about the dangers of “red meat” is utter foolishness.

A comprehensive study conducted by researchers from California State University (CSU) in Chico, and the University of California (UC), Davis, that was published in Nutrition Journal in 2010 is just one of many that shows the major differences between grain-fed, feedlot meat and grass-fed, pastured meat.

In this study, researchers evaluated the way feeding cattle grass, which is their natural food of choice, compares to feeding them grains, which is not their natural food of choice and is often responsible for making them sick. They found that in virtually every nutritional category evaluated, grass-fed meat was far superior to grain-fed meat.

The omega-3 fatty acid profile in grass-fed meat, for instance, was found to be similar to that of fatty fish, which is often recommended by health officials as a type of meat that promotes health. Grass-fed animals were also found to produce meat that is higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a healthy fat that fights obesity; carotenoids, organic antioxidant pigments that protect cells from cancer-causing free radicals and promote healthy immunity and reproductive function; and vitamin E tocopherols, which protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

“Research spanning three decades supports the argument that grass-fed beef has a more desirable SFA (saturated fatty acids) lipid profile as compared to grain-fed beef,” write the authors in their conclusion. “This results in a better n-6:n-3 (omega-6 to omega-3) ratio that is preferred by the nutritional community” (http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/10).

To learn more about the health benefits of grass-fed meats, visit:
http://www.eatwild.com/basics.html

Source: NaturalNews.com

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Toxic BPA Now Linked to Leading Killer Heart Disease

Mike Barrett
March 3, 2012

Although BPA’s ubiquitous use in today’s world makes it difficult to pinpoint it for causing many health and environmental complications, research gives reason to believe it is indeed a cause of health many complications.

Just recently, research has potentially tied the chemical, often used in plastics and food can linings, to an increased risk of heart diseaseResearchers also found that individuals who have heart disease were more likely to have higher urinary concentrations of BPA, which has been shown to spike by 1,200 percent after ingesting soup from canned goods.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, used data from the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) to determine the relationship between BPA and heart disease. EPIC is a long-term study which monitors thousands of people’s health, providing researchers with data on BPA concentration levels from individuals that can be followed for years.

For the recent study appearing in Circulation, researchers tracked 758 healthy EPIC subjects who developed cardiovascular disease later in life. While it can’t be fully clarified that BPA is responsible, the researchers noticed a direct link between BPA concentration and heart disease, with the subjects ending up with heart disease being more likely to have higher BPA levels at the start of the 10-year follow up period.

The lead author of the study states:

This study strengthens the statistical link between BPA and heart disease, but we can’t be certain that BPA itself is responsible. It is now important that government agencies organise drug style safety trials of BPA in humans, as much basic information about how BPA behaves in the human body is still unknown.

Needless to say, this isn’t the first time BPA has been tied to a health condition. One study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that pregnant women exposed to high levels of the estrogen-mimicking health destroyer bisphenol A can lead to female offspring becoming depressed, hyperactive, and anxious — all at the early age of 3. Other research has even linked BPA to diabetes.

Of course there are many other health horrors linked to BPA, which is why you need to know how much of the chemical you’re exposing yourself to. Luckily, there are natural substances that have actually been found to reverse this damage on a number of levels.

Knowing what to avoid and how to reverse the damage from BPA is key to protecting your health from damage induced by the chemical.

Source: ActivistPost.com

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