Homocysteine Related to Plasma Vitamin C Levels

In a recently published study, researchers investigated the role of antioxidant vitamins in lowering homocysteine. Homocysteine is a sulfur containing amino acid, and reduced levels of homocysteine are associated with cardiovascular health. Previous research has shown that vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid support the maintenance of healthy homocysteine levels. (more…)

Phase I and II detox pathways

Detoxification is the process in which the body eliminates or neutralizes toxic substances. Toxins come from various sources including the air, diet, drugs, alcohol, smoking, as well as metabolic by-products. Thus, lifestyle factors play a significant role in the accumulation of toxins. The build-up of toxins results in cellular damage, and eventually chronic disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that almost half of American adults have at least one chronic disease. Chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems in the U.S.1

The body utilizes several routes of detoxification including the skin, lungs, kidneys, liver, and intestines. What’s important to keep in mind is that there are two pathways by which the body detoxifies harmful substances and it’s essential to support both of these pathways in order to detoxify effectively. Supporting only one of the detoxification pathways can actually do more harm than good. (more…)

Hormones and the heart

In the eyes of holistic physicians, hormones are the “fountain of youth” in the human body. Their job is to regulate the functions of different tissues and organs as well as blood pressure control, reproductive function, body mass, immune function, cognitive performance, how we deal with stress and so much more. Hormones are chemical messengers that are released from one area of the body to communicate a signal in another area.

The hormonal “orchestra” must stay in balance in order for the tissues that they regulate to function optimally and stay in harmony. When hormones become depleted or imbalanced (from aging, stress, pollutants, lifestyle) we begin to experience serious health issues.

While the majority of information about hormonal health tends to focus on reproductive function and conditions associated with PMS, menopause and andropause, other areas of the body are just as greatly affected.

The heart is one organ that hormone balance has a direct effect upon. Newer research is exploring how inadequate hormone levels negatively affect heart health, and how achieving hormone balance can offset this. (more…)

Proof That These Foods Could Protect Against Heart Disease

A new study has found that eating more fruit and vegetables translates into a lower risk of dying from heart disease. This is a significant point, as heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. So hit the fruit and vegetable aisle of the supermarket and find items that will protect your heart and help prolong your life.

The study is published online in the “European Heart Journal.”

The data, which come from the “European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition” (EPIC), show that people who ate at least eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease than those eating fewer than three portions a day. One portion was defined as weighing 80 grams — or, one small banana, a medium apple, or a small carrot.

The information comes from more than 300,000 people in eight different European countries. Among them, 1,636 died of heart disease. It shows a four percent lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease (IHD) for each extra fruit or vegetable eaten past two a day. For example, someone eating five portions a day has a four percent lower risk of dying from heart disease than someone eating four portions a day.

IHD is a disease involving reduced blood supply to the heart. It can lead to angina, heart attack, or heart failure.

The study lasted from 1992 to 2000, spread across 10 countries. Participants were between 40 and 85 years of age. They were tracked for an average of nearly eight and a half years. It found that the average intake of fruit and vegetables was five portions a day.

While the study is limited in some ways, there is one main message to cull from it: People who regularly eat multiple fruit and vegetable servings each day have added protection against dying from the world’s leading cause of death. A reduction of 22%, as mentioned earlier, is “huge” according to the researchers.

 

By Victor Marchione, M.D. on 02/01/2011

Olive oil and raw green diet lower systemic infection and improve cardiovascular health

Systemic inflammation is a significant factor known to accelerate the aging process and is an underlying mechanism behind most chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Low grade inflammation increases body temperature and initiates degradation of the delicate endothelial lining of the vascular system. This process is known to cause metabolic instability and is linked with the proliferation of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia. Polyphenols from extra virgin olive oil have been shown to significantly reduce the expression of genes that trigger systemic inflammation and can be used along with natural diet to lower the risks from cardiovascular disease.

Olive Oil and Greens Lower Risk of Heart Disease by More Than 40% (more…)

Resveratrol at the ready for fighting heart disease

A few years back, researchers decided that resveratrol was the secret ingredient in red wine that was responsible for the so-called “French paradox.” Not only could it protect the heart from oxidized fat, resveratrol also appeared to reduce platelet aggregation and increase blood flow. The problem was, no one knew how much resveratrol was needed to create these heart-healthy changes … until now.

New research conducted at the University of South Australia suggests that taking a daily resveratrol supplement can rapidly improve vascular function and lead to better heart health.  (more…)

Rye Bread Enriched with Plant Sterols Effects Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. The body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it can stick to the walls of the arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can the arteries or even block them. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol levels tend to rise with age. There are usually no signs or symptoms that indicate high blood cholesterol, but it can be detected with a blood test. Chances of having high cholestesterol would include if family members have it, being overweight or eating a lot of fatty foods. (more…)