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Without our heart, we die, so why do people insult our heart with poor nutrition?

 

Heart attack risk linked to unhealthy teeth and gums

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/heart-attack-healthy-gums-3008.html
by:  | June 11, 2019

Healthy teeth and healthy gums equal a healthy heart(NaturalHealth365) Heart disease – including a heart attack – is the number one cause of death in the United States. Although there are many contributing factors to the development of cardiovascular disease – inflammation is the critical factor.Inflammation drives the progression of atherosclerotic plaque within the arteries and is the critical factor in plaque rupture that leads to clot formation and a heart attack.  In addition, contrary to popular belief, the root cause of a heart attack is not just cholesterol.

What really causes a heart attack?

Everybody knows that high cholesterol can cause a heart attack, right? Well, no – and yes. It is not that simple. Let’s look at the development of arterial plaque.

Atherosclerosis begins as fatty streaks on the lining of the endothelium. (Endothelium is the cell layer lining the inside of the artery). Damage occurs to the endothelium of the artery due to conditions such high blood pressure, free radical oxidative stress, bacterial toxins, diabetes and inflammation.

Inflammation causes adhesion molecules to bind to the endothelium lining the inside of the artery making it sticky.  Then, white blood cells become trapped in the damaged and sticky endothelium. The white blood cells then penetrate the endothelium and move inside the blood vessel.

Naturally, LDL cholesterol that floats by gets taken up by the white blood and forms the fatty streaks.  Continuous progression of this process leads to larger and larger plaque within the artery.

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The less popular truth about LDL cholesterol

Without endothelial damage caused by conditions such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, free radicals, and infections, LDL cholesterol just floats through the artery and doesn’t get deposited to form arterial plaque.

In most cases, a heart attack occurs when this plaque ruptures and breaks through the endothelium into the lumen of the artery. The subsequent blood clot that forms in response to this plaque rupture and tear in the endothelium is the actual cause of the heart attack.

Keep in mind, the plaque ruptures because it is inflamed. These “hot” plaques are the root cause of most all heart attacks. Bottom line, plaque ruptures cannot occur without inflammation.

Did you know that stable arterial plaque does NOT cause a heart attack?

Contrary to popular belief, most heart attacks don’t occur because the plaque completely blocks the coronary artery. In fact, 68 percent of heart attacks occur when the coronary artery is only 50% blocked.

Therefore, it is not the complete blockage of the artery by the plaque that causes a heart attack but rather the rupture of the inflamed plaque within the arterial wall, and the subsequent formation of a blood clot that occludes the coronary artery and causes a heart attack.

If high cholesterol were the sole cause of heart disease, then everybody who has had a heart attack should have high cholesterol. That is simply not the case. The truth is that many heart attack patients have perfectly normal cholesterol levels.

I will discuss the other risk factors that cause heart disease in future articles. For now, let’s focus on the main player in this disease process, and that is inflammation.

Periodontal disease and root canal treated teeth are a primary source of toxins and inflammation

Systemic inflammation increases due to: infection, obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, stress, insulin resistance and, low vitamin C levels. One prime source of chronic infection is periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums.  It should be noted that over 400 species of bacteria populate the human mouth and some of those bacteria are pathogenic.

These bacteria form colonies in periodontal the sulcus (the space between the gum tissue and the tooth) and cause both inflammation of the gum tissue and eventual destruction of the supporting bone around the teeth.

Periodontal disease causes a rise in inflammatory mediators throughout the entire body including the endothelium of the coronary arteries and the developed plaque already inside the arteries. Unless the periodontal disease is controlled, and the inflammation in the gums reduced or eliminated, this continual assault of inflammatory mediators will fuel the development of arterial plaque as well as make the plaque already in the artery “hot” and prone to rupture, resulting in a heart attack.

Don’t ignore the dangers of gum disease

The inflammation in the gums also makes the gums permeable to bacteria to enter the blood stream and travel to distant sites in the body. These pathogenic periodontal bacteria travel from the mouth to the plaque inside the coronary arteries, essentially infecting the plaque.

DNA analysis of bacteria found within coronary artery plaque has confirmed this focal infection of dental origin. These bacteria not only increase inflammation, but they contain endotoxins and exotoxins that damage the blood vessel lining making the endothelium “leaky.” Furthermore, this increased permeability of the arterial wall allows more white blood cells and LDL cholesterol inside the artery wall increasing the formation of plaque.

To make matters worse, some strains of oral bacteria make blood more prone to clotting, which is exactly what you don’t want happening inside a coronary artery.

Dentists should be physicians of the mouth

Many dentists continue to claim that oral infection only shows a correlation to heart disease, not causation. One remark I read recently from a dentist commenting on the link between periodontal disease and heart disease: “people with bad hearts often have bad teeth too, therefore no causative link between the two.  I bet they all drink water, take showers and drink coffee…doesn’t mean much.”

Comments like that are disturbing coming from a health professional. To superficially dismiss the causal mechanism of inflammation and oral bacteria on the progression of atherosclerosis shows a failure of reasoning using first principles.

When distilled to the fundamental truths of cardiovascular disease progression, the negative effect of periodontal disease and root canal teeth becomes self-evident and cannot be ignored.

Learn how to put out the ‘fire’ in the mouth

Optimal oral health is vital to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. This means regular visits to your dentist for cleanings to keep the gum tissue healthy as well as early detection and treatment of any developing cavities. Extraction of root canal-treated teeth should also be considered.

Good oral home care is the key to keep chronic oral infection and inflammation form gingivitis and periodontal disease in check. Of course, brushing a minimum of twice per day with a soft brush is a must. I suggest an electric or sonic toothbrush.

Brush for a minimum of two minutes, with four minutes being ideal. Angle the brush towards the gum-line so that the bristles work their way under the gum-line where the disease causing bacteria live. If using an electric or sonic toothbrush, let the toothbrush do the work. Slowly move the brush around the entire mouth, cleaning both the front and back of the teeth.

Most people hate flossing but it does have benefit. Pulling the floss between the teeth helps clean the contact area between adjacent teeth that a toothbrush cannot get to. This helps to prevent cavities from forming in between the teeth.

Rub the floss against the tooth to manually clean the tooth root of sticky tooth plaque that is adhering to it and to also remove debris from the periodontal sulcus.

The main reason why you should be using an ‘oral irrigation’ device

The primary goals of a good home care programs is the disruption of the bacterial colonies under the gum line, removal of any food remnants, and the reduction of the bacterial load. My favorite home care device is water pic with an antimicrobial agent such as hydrogen peroxide or a non-alcohol containing mouthwash added to the water reservoir.

The pulsating stream of water directed under the gum-line is an effective way to accomplish this goal.

Since many of the pathogenic bacteria are anaerobic and cannot live in the presence of a high oxygen content environment, the addition of hydrogen peroxide to the water reservoir is a potent antibacterial, especially to the anaerobic bacteria. The pulsating stream of water breaks up the bacterial colonies and flushes away many of the bacteria along with any remaining food particles.

Fill the reservoir of the water pic with warm water about 3/4 full. Fill the remaining ¼ of the reservoir with hydrogen peroxide or your favorite non-alcohol containing mouthwash.

After thoroughly brushing your teeth, use the water pic by aiming it in between the teeth and under the gum. First time users should set the power to ¼ power. After about a week of use you can increase the power setting to 50 percent. You will be amazed at what comes out of your mouth even after you have brushed your teeth.

Don’t be alarmed if you see blood in the sink. Blood is an indicator of inflammation and the continued use of the above brushing technique, water pick, and frequent dental cleanings should eliminate any bleeding in a short time.

When you no longer see any blood, in the sink, when using the water pic that is an indication that the inflammation has been reduced or eliminated. Not only will your teeth and gums be healthier but your heart will thank you as well.

In addition, I advise measuring the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) by getting a high sensitivity CRP blood test.  CRP is a measure of systemic inflammation and is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Treating active periodontal is beneficial to both dental health and overall systemic health.

Keep in mind, periodontal disease always raises systemic inflammation.  But, the decision to have a root canal or extract existing root canal teeth is not an easy on to make.  Although all root canal teeth remain infected and release toxins, not all root canal teeth raise systemic inflammation.

Please be advised: I am not saying avoid root canal procedures or to extract all existing root canal-treated teeth.  What I am saying is that this decision should be made only after becoming informed of all the possible systemic risks. Putting out the inflammation fire in the gums, along with the removal of offending root canal-treated teeth, will significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, and help prevent a heart attack.

About the author: Dr. Kulacz had extensive training in implant dentistry through the Brookdale Hospital implant training mini residency and placed many implants during the first half of his private practice career. The second half of his career was entirely devoted to the surgical treatment of root canal extractions and cavitations. Dr. Kulacz continues to do research on the oral/systemic connection. His website is Coletrex.com. His latest book, The Toxic Tooth: How a Root Canal Could Be Making You Sick, co-authored with Thomas E. Levy, MD is available here.

Sources for this article include:

The Toxic Tooth, Robert Kulacz, DDS, Thomas E. Levy, MD. 2014. ISBN: 978-0-9837728-2-8
Beat The Heart Attack Gene, Bradley Bale, MD, Amy Doneen, ARNP, with Lisa Collier. 2014. ISBN: 978-1-118-45429-9

Microbial Composition of Atherosclerotic Plaques. Calandrini, CA, Ribeiro, AC, Gonelli AC, Ota-Tsuzuki C, Rangel LP, Saba-Chujfi E, Mayer MP Oral Dis, 2014 Apr;20(3):e128-34. Doi: 10.1111/odi. 12205

Microbial Diversity Similarities in Periodontal Pockets and Atheromatous Plaques of Cardiovascular Disease Patients, Serra e Silva Filho W, Casarin RC, Nicoleta EL Jr, Passos HM, Sallum, AW, Goncalves RB PLos One 2014 Oct 16;9(10):e109761. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109761

Stop America’s #1 Killer! Proof That the Origin of All Coronary Heart Disease is a Clearly Reversible Arterial Scurvy Levy, Thomas E. 2006 MedFox Publishing. ISBN: 0-9779520-1-0

How to Clean Your Arteries With One Simple Fruit

© 21st July 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/how-clean-your-arteries-one-simple-fruit
Posted on: Tuesday, July 21st 2020 at 7:45 am
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020

How To Clean Your Arteries With One Simple Fruit

The future of cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment will not be found in your medicine cabinet, rather in your kitchen cupboard or in your back yard growing on a tree

Pomegranate Found To Prevent Coronary Artery Disease Progression

A study published in the journal Atherosclerosis confirms that pomegranate extract may prevent and/or reverse the primary pathology associated with cardiac mortality: the progressive thickening of the coronary arteries caused by the accumulation of fatty materials known as atherosclerosis.[i]

Mice with a genetic susceptibility towards spontaneous coronary artery blockages were given pomegranate extract via their drinking water for two weeks, beginning at three weeks of age. Despite the fact that pomegranate treatment actually increased cholesterol levels associated with very low density lipoprotein-sized particles, the treatment both reduced the size of the atherosclerotic plaques in the aortic sinus (the dilated opening above the aortic valve) and reduced the proportion of coronary arteries with occlusive atherosclerotic plaques.

Remarkably, the researchers also found that pomegranate extract treatment resulted in the following 7 beneficial effects:

  1. Reduced levels of oxidative stress
  2. Reduced monocytie chemotactic protein-1, a chemical messenger (chemokine) associated with inflammatory processes within the arteries.
  3. Reduced lipid accumulation in the heart muscle
  4. Reduced macrophage infiltration in the heart muscle
  5. Reduced levels of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and fibrosis in the myocardium
  6. Reduced cardiac enlargement
  7. Reduced ECG abnormalities

How can something as benign and commonplace as a fruit extract reverse so many aspects of coronary artery disease, simultaneously, as evidenced by the study above? The answer may lie in the fact that our ancestors co-evolved with certain foods (fruits in particular) for so long that a lack of adequate quantities of these foods may directly result in deteriorating organ function. Indeed, two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling argued that vitamin C deficiency is a fundamental cause of cardiovascular disease, owing to the fact that our hominid primate ancestors once had year-round access to fruits, and as a result lost the ability to synthesize it.

Pomegranate Found To Prevent Coronary Artery Disease Progression

There’s another obvious clue as to how pomegranate may work its artery opening magic. Anyone who has ever tasted pomegranate, or consumed the juice, knows it has a remarkable astringency, giving your mouth and gums that dry, puckering mouth feel. This cleansing sensation is technically caused, as with all astringents, by shrinking and disinfecting your mucous membranes.

Anyone who drinks pomegranate juice, or is lucky enough to eat one fresh, can understand why it is so effective at cleansing the circulatory system. Nature certainly planted enough poetic visual clues there for us: its juice looks like blood, and it does resemble a multi-chambered heart, at least when you consider its appearance in comparison to most other fruits.

Indeed, your mouth and your arteries are lined with the same cell type: epithelial cells. Together, they make up the epithelium, one of four basic tissue types within animals, along with connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue, and which comprises the interior walls of the entire circulatory system. So, when you feel that amazing cleansing effect in your mouth, this is in fact akin to what your circulatory system — and the epithelium/endothelium lining the inside of your veins and arteries — “feels” as well.

The Pomegranate “Artery Cleaning” Clinical Trial

Published in Clinical Nutrition in 2004 and titled, “Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation,” Israeli researchers discovered pomegranate, administered in juice form over the course of a year, reversed plaque accumulation in the carotid arteries of patients with severe, though symptomless, carotid artery stenosis (defined as 70–90% blockage in the internal carotid arteries).

The study consisted of nineteen patients, 5 women and 14 men, aged 65-75, non-smokers. They were randomized to receive either pomegranate juice or placebo. Ten patients were in the pomegranate juice treatment group and 9 patients that did not consume pomegranate juice were in the control group. Both groups were matched with similar blood lipid and glucose concentrations, blood pressure, and with similar medication regimens which consisted of blood-pressure lowering (e.g. ACE inhibitors, β-blockers, or calcium channel blockers) and lipid lowering drugs (e.g. statins).

The ten patients in the treatment group group received 8.11 ounces (240 ml) of pomegranate juice per day, for a period of 1 year, and five out of them agreed to continue for up to 3 years.

The remarkable results were reported as follows:

“The mean intima media thickness the left and right common carotid arteries in severe carotid artery stenosis patients that consumed pomegranate juice for up to 1 year was reduced after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of pomegranate juice consumption by 13%, 22%, 26% and 35%, respectively, in comparison to baseline values.”

You can only imagine what would happen if a pharmaceutical drug was shown to reverse plaque build up in the carotid arteries by 13% in just 3 months! This drug would be lauded the life-saving miracle drug, and not only would be promoted and sold successfully as a multi-billion dollar blockbuster, but discussion would inevitably follow as to why it should be mandated.

While these results are impressive, if not altogether groundbreaking for the field of cardiology, they may be even better than revealed in the stated therapeutic outcomes above. When one factors in that the carotid artery stenosis increased 9% within 1 year in the control group, the pomegranate intervention group may have seen even better results than indicated by the measured regression in intima media thickness alone. That is, if we assume that the pomegranate group had received no treatment, the thickening of their carotid arteries would have continued to progress like the control group at a rate of 9% a year, i.e. 18% within 2 years, 27% within 3 years. This could be interpreted to mean that after 3 years of pomegranate treatment, for instance, the thickening of the arteries would have been reduced over 60% beyond what would have occurred had the natural progression of the disease been allowed to continue unabated.

3 Ways How Pomegranate Heals The Cardiovascular System

The researchers identified three likely mechanisms of action behind pomegranate’s observed anti-atherosclerotic activity:

  • Antioxidant properties: Subjects receiving pomegranate saw significant reductions in oxidative stress, including decreases in autoantibodies formed against ox-LDL, a form of oxidized low density lipoprotein associated with the pathological process of atherosclerosis. Decreases in oxidative stress were measurable by an increase in the blood serum enzyme paraoxonase 1 (PON1) of up to 91% after 3 years; PON1 is an enzyme whose heightened activity is associated with lower oxidative stress. All of this is highly relevant to the question of pomegranate’s anti-atherosclerotic activity because of something called the lipid peroxidation hypothesis of atherosclerosis, which assumes that it is the quality of the blood lipids (i.e. whether they are oxidized/damaged or not), and not their quantity alone that determine their cardiotoxicity/atherogenicity. Essentially, pomegranate prevents the heart disease promoting effects of oxidative stress.
  • Blood Pressure Lowering Properties: The intervention resulted in significant improvement in blood pressure: the patient’s systolic blood pressure was reduced 7%, 11% ,10%, 10% and 12% after 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of pomegranate consumption, respectively, compared to values obtained before treatment. Pomegranate’s ability to reduce systolic blood pressure indicates it has a healing effect on the endothelium, or the inner lining of the artery which fails to relax fully in heart disease; a condition known as endothelial dysfunction.
  • Plaque Lesion Stabilization: Because two of the ten patients on PJ (after 3 and 12 months) experienced clinical deterioration, carotid surgery was performed and the lesions were analyzed to determine the difference in their composition to those who did not receive pomegranate. The researchers noticed four distinct positive differences in the composition of the pomegranate-treated lesions:
    1. Reduced Cholesterol Content: “The cholesterol content in carotid lesions from the two patients that consumed PJ was lower by 58% and 20%, respectively, in comparison to lesions obtained from CAS patients that did not consume PJ (Fig. 3A).”
    2. Reduced Lipid Peroxides: “[T]he lipid peroxides content in lesions obtained from the patients after PJ consumption for 3 or 12 months was significantly reduced by 61% or 44%, respectively, as compared to lesions from patients that did not consume PJ (Fig. 3B).
    3. Increased Reduced Glutathione Content: “A substantial increase in the lesion reduced glutathione (GSH) content, (GSH is a major cellular antioxidant) by 2.5-fold, was observed after PJ consumption for 3 or 12 months, (Fig. 3C).
    4. Reduced LDL Oxidation: “LDL oxidation by lesions derived from the patients after PJ consumption for 3 or 12 months, was significantly (Po0.01) decreased by 43% or 32%, respectively, in comparison to LDL oxidation rates obtained by lesions from CAS patients that did not consume PJ (Fig. 3D).”

Essentially these results reveal that not only does pomegranate reduce the lesion size in the carotid arteries, but “the lesion itself may be considered less atherogenic after PJ consumption, as its cholesterol and oxidized lipid content decreased, and since its ability to oxidize LDL was significantly reduced.”

This finding is quite revolutionary, as presently, the dangers of carotid artery stenosis are understood primarily through the lesion size and not by assessing for the quality of that lesion. This dovetails with the concept that the sheer quantity of lipoproteins (i.e. “cholesterol”) in the blood can not accurately reveal whether those lipoproteins are actually harmful (atherogenic); rather, if lipoproteins are oxidized (e.g. ox-LDL) they can be harmful (or representative of a more systemic bodily imbalance), whereas non-oxidized low density lipoprotein may be considered entirely benign, if not indispensable for cardiovascular and body wide health. Indeed, in this study the researchers found the pomegranate group had increased levels of triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein, again, underscoring that the anti-atherosclerotic properties likely have more to do with the improved quality of the physiological milieu within which all our lipoproteins operate than the number of them, in and of itself.

Finally, it should be pointed out that all the patients in this study were undergoing conventional, drug-based care for cardiovascular disease, e.g. cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering agents. Not only did the pomegranate treatment not appear to interfere with their drugs, making it a suitable complementary/adjunct therapy for those on pharmaceuticals, but it should be pointed out that the control group’s condition got progressively worse (e.g. the mean IMT increased 9% within 1 year), speaking to just how ineffective drugs are, or how they may even contribute to the acceleration of the disease process itself.

Further Validation of Pomegranate’s Artery-Clearing Properties

Pomegranate’s value in cardiovascular health may be quiet broad, as evidenced by the following experimentally confirmed properties:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Like many chronic degenerative diseases, inflammation plays a significant role in cardiovascular disease pathogenesis. There are five studies on GreenMedInfo.com indicating pomegranate’s anti-inflammatory properties.[iii]
  • Blood-Pressure Lowering: Pomegranate juice has natural angiotensin converting enzyme inhibiting properties, [iv] and is a nitric oxide enhancer, two well-known pathways for reducing blood pressure. [v] Finally, pomegranate extract rich in punicalagin has been found reduce the adverse effects of perturbed stress on arterial segments exposed to disturbed flow.[vi]
  • Anti-Infective: Plaque buildup in the arteries often involves secondary viral and bacterial infection, including hepatitis C and Chlamydia pneumoniae.[vii] Pomegranate has a broad range of anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
  • Antioxidant: One of the ways in which blood lipids become heart disease-promoting (atherogenic) is through oxidation. LDL, for instance, may be technically ‘elevated’ but harmless as long as it does not readily oxidize. Pomegranate has been found to reduce the oxidative stress in the blood, as measured by serum paraoxonase levels. One study in mice found this decrease in oxidative stress was associated with 44% reduction in the size of atherosclerotic lesions. [viii]
  • Anti-Infective: While it is commonly overlooked, cardiovascular disease, and more particularly atherosclerosis, is connected to infection. Dentists know this, which is why they often prescribe antibiotics following dental work which releases bacteria into systemic circulation. Plaque in the arteries can also harbor viral pathogens. Pomegranate happens to have potent antiviral and antibacterial properties relevant to cardiovascular disease initiation and progression. It has been studied to combat the following infectious organisms:
    1. Avian Influenza
    2. Candida
    3. Escherichia Coli
    4. Hepatitis B
    5. HIV
    6. Influenza A
    7. Poxviruses
    8. Salmonella
    9. SARS
    10. Staphylococcus auerus
    11. Vaccinia virus
    12. Vibrio (Cholera) virus

For additional research on pomegranate’s heart friendly properties read our article: Research: Pomegranate May Reverse Blocked Arteries, and to learn more about it’s broadly therapeutic properties read: 100+ Health Properties of Pomegranate Now Includes Helping Diabetics.

Also, view our dedicated research section on reversing arterial plaque: Clogged Arteries


References

[i] Aishah Al-Jarallah, Fatima Igdoura, Yi Zhang, Christine B Tenedero, Elizabeth J White, Melissa E Macdonald, Suleiman A Igdoura, Bernardo L Trigatti. The effect of pomegranate extract on coronary artery atherosclerosis in SR-BI/APOE double knockout mice. Atherosclerosis. 2013 May ;228(1):80-9. Epub 2013 Mar 7. PMID: 23528829

[ii] Michael Aviram, Mira Rosenblat, Diana Gaitini, Samy Nitecki, Aaron Hoffman, Leslie Dornfeld, Nina Volkova, Dita Presser, Judith Attias, Harley Liker, Tony Hayek. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33. PMID: 15158307

[iii] GreenMedInfo.com, Pomegranate’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties

[iv] Mahalaxmi Mohan, Harshal Waghulde, Sanjay Kasture. Effect of pomegranate juice on Angiotensin II-induced hypertension in diabetic Wistar rats. Phytother Res. 2009 Dec 17. PMID: 20020514

[v] Filomena de Nigris, Maria Luisa Balestrieri, Sharon Williams-Ignarro, Francesco P D’Armiento, Carmela Fiorito, Louis J Ignarro, Claudio Napoli. The influence of pomegranate fruit extract in comparison to regular pomegranate juice and seed oil on nitric oxide and arterial function in obese Zucker rats. Nitric Oxide. 2007 Aug ;17(1):50-4. Epub 2007 May 5. PMID: 17553710

[vi] Filomena de Nigris, Sharon Williams-Ignarro, Vincenzo Sica, Lilach O Lerman, Francesco P D’Armiento, Russell E Byrns, Amelia Casamassimi, Daniela Carpentiero, Concetta Schiano, Daigo Sumi, Carmela Fiorito, Louis J Ignarro, Claudio Napoli. Effects of a pomegranate fruit extract rich in punicalagin on oxidation-sensitive genes and eNOS activity at sites of perturbed shear stress and atherogenesis. Cardiovasc Res. 2007 Jan 15;73(2):414-23. Epub 2006 Sep 1. PMID: 17014835

[vii] Yasunori Sawayama, Kyoko Okada, Shinji Maeda, Hachiro Ohnishi, Norihiro Furusyo, Jun Hayashi. Both hepatitis C virus and Chlamydia pneumoniae infection are related to the progression of carotid atherosclerosis in patients undergoing lipid lowering therapy. Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi. 2006 Aug;97(8):245-55. PMID: 17087362

[viii] M Aviram, L Dornfeld, M Rosenblat, N Volkova, M Kaplan, R Coleman, T Hayek, D Presser, B Fuhrman. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May ;71(5):1062-76. PMID: 10799367

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Are Seed Oils Behind the Majority of Diseases This Century?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/07/18/chris-knobbe-macular-degeneration.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
July 18, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Ophthalmologist Dr. Chris Knobbe says most chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration are linked to the consumption of processed seed oils
  • Knobbe says the large consumption of omega-6 seed oil in everyday Western diets is so dangerous it is “a global human experiment … without informed consent”
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids, also called PUFAs, found in vegetable oils, edible oils, seed oils, trans fat and plant oils, owe their existence to “roller mill technology,” which replaced stone mill technology and removed their nutrients
  • Many people now consume 80 grams of PUFAs a day, which amounts to 720 calories and one-third of their caloric intake
  • Results from studies of tribal peoples and animals have demonstrated the deleterious effects of PUFAs in the diet

What do heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and other chronic health conditions of modern society have in common? They all have increased by shocking amounts in the last decades. And, they are all linked to the consumption of seed oils.

In a recent speech at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, titled “Diseases of Civilization: Are Seed Oil Excesses the Unifying Mechanism?,” Dr. Chris Knobbe reveals startling evidence that seed oils, so prevalent in modern diets, are the reason for most of today’s chronic diseases.1

Knobbe, an ophthalmologist, is the founder of the nonprofit Cure AMD Foundation, dedicated to the prevention of vision loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).2 He is a former associate clinical professor emeritus of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.3

His research indicts the high consumption of omega-6 seed oil in everyday diets as the major unifying driver of the chronic degenerative diseases of modern civilization. He calls the inundation of Western diets with harmful seeds oils “a global human experiment … without informed consent.”

The Rise of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs)

Trans fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids, also called PUFAs, found in vegetable oils, edible oils, seed oils and plant oils, are a fairly recent invention and include cottonseed, rapeseed, sunflower, safflower, rice bran, soybean, corn and other popular oils. PUFAs owe their existence to “roller mill technology,” which around 1880 replaced stone mill technology that was used to grind wheat into flour.4

Roller mill technology facilitated the entire removal of the bran and the germ of a grain, leaving only the endosperm, a refined product with its nutrients removed.5 According to Knobbe, writing on the Cure AMD Foundation website:6

“The first of these [PUFAs] was cottonseed oil. This was soon followed by the hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation of cottonseed oil, producing the first ever artificially created trans-fat. The latter was introduced by Proctor & Gamble in 1911 under the name ‘Crisco,’ which was marketed as ‘the healthier alternative to lard … and more economical than butter.'”

Crisco, the grandfather of commercially produced PUFAs or trans fats, is still widely sold today. The plan of vegetable oil producers, says Knobbe, was to undersell and therefore replace animal fats, which were priced higher.7 The plan was successful.

PUFAs became so popular that they now make up 63% of the American diet, form the basis of USDA food recommendations and are found in 600,000 processed foods sold in the U.S. today.8 In 1909, Americans ate 2 grams a day of vegetable oil, says Knobbe, and by 2010 they were eating an astounding 80 grams of vegetable oil a day.9

There are several reasons PUFAs are harmful, says Knobbe. Unlike animal fats, they lack vitamins A, D and K, so they are nutrient deficient. They contribute to most of the chronic diseases associated with modern civilization. And PUFAs also contribute to the epidemic of obesity. The 80 grams of PUFAs a day that Americans are now consuming amount to 720 calories, says Knobbe, which means that one-third of most people’s calories are “coming out of factories.”10

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Chronic Diseases Rose With PUFAs

Many people are aware that diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and other conditions were less common in the first part of the 20th century than they are today. But the rise in the incidence of these conditions is more dramatic than many realize. According to Knobbe:11

  • In 1900, 12.5% percent of the U.S. population died of heart-related disease; in 2010, that figure was 32%
  • In 1811, 1 person in 118 died of cancer; in 2010, 1 in 3 died of cancer
  • In 80 years, the incidence of Type 2 diabetes has increased 25-fold
  • In the 19th century, 1.2% of Americans were obese; in 2015, 39.8% were obese
  • In 1930, there were no more than 50 cases of macular degeneration; in 2020, there are 196 million cases

Are the rises in these chronic conditions correlated with the rise in the dietary consumption of PUFAs? Absolutely, says Knobbe in his lecture. He gives the following explanation:12

“These disorders from heart disease to atherosclerosis to type-2 diabetes to macular degeneration and cancer all have the same thing. They all have mitochondrial dysfunction …The very first thing that happens when the electron transport chain fails … is that it starts shooting out reactive oxygen species — these are hydroxyl radicals and superoxide …

These free radicals lead to nuclear mitochondrial DNA mutations … which contribute to heart failure … macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s … a catastrophic lipid peroxidation cascade [that] leads to toxic aldehydes.”

At the root of the harmful biochemical reactions enacted by seed oils is linoleic acid, says Knobbe, which is an 18-carbon omega-6 fat. Linoleic acid is the primary fatty acid found in PUFAs and accounts for about 80% of total vegetable oils. Omega-6 fats must be balanced with omega-3 fats in order not to be harmful.

“Most of this linoleic acid, when it oxidizes, it develops lipid hydroperoxides and then these rapidly degenerate into … oxidized linoleic acid metabolites,” says Knobbe.13

The oxidized linoleic acid metabolites are a perfect storm. They are cytotoxic, genotoxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, atherogenic and thrombogenic, says Knobbe. Their atherosclerosis and thrombogenic actions are especially concerning because they can produce strokes and clots.

PUFAs Create Insulin Resistance

Diabetes, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome have become epidemic since the U.S. diet has been based on PUFAs. It is estimated that nearly 70% of Americans are now overweight or obese and a substantial amount are metabolically unhealthy.14

This puts people at risk for Type 2 diabetes as well as the many chronic diseases associated with insulin resistance, from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. In his lecture, Knobbe explains how these conditions develop:15

“When you consume omega-6 to excess … it combines with reactive oxygen species like hydroxyl radicals … so this begins catastrophic lipid peroxidation cascade — these polyunsaturated fats are accumulating [in] your cells, accumulate in your membranes, accumulate in your mitochondria and they cause a peroxidation reaction.”

Because there’s so many reactive oxygen species it leads to developing insulin resistance at the cellular level and the production of lipid droplets in your liver, continues Knobbe:

” … that creates a catastrophic lipid part or it feeds back to the lipid peroxidation … so now you’re not burning fat for fuel properly so the person gaining weight and getting sick in this regard is now carb dependent — their glycolysis is working but … [they] start storing the fat … so this leads to obesity.”

Linoleic acid is especially a culprit in this harmful process, agrees Dr. Paul Saladino, a physician journalist, in a podcast. Linoleic acid “breaks the sensitivity for insulin at the level of your fat cells” — it makes them more insulin sensitive — and, since your fat cells control the insulin sensitivity of the rest of your body by releasing free fatty acids, you end up with insulin resistance.

Rat Studies and Indigenous People Show PUFA Harm

Animal studies have dramatically demonstrated the deleterious effects of PUFAs. In one study Knobbe cites, two sets of rats were put on identical diets except one group received 5% cottonseed oil and the other received 1.5% butterfat.16 The result of the study was that:17

” … the rats on the cottonseed oil grow to sixty percent of normal size and live24 555 days on average; they’re, weak, fragile, sickly little rats. The rats on the butterfat they are healthy; they grow to normal size and they live 1020 days so they grow to almost twice the size [of the cottonseed oil-fed rats], live twice as long and are infinitely more healthy.”

While it’s suggested that the American Heart Association and other medical groups might discount such studies, potentially calling them paradoxical, there are also examples of the positive effects from saturated and animal-based fats upon human health, says Knobbe.

For example, the Tokelau people who live on islands in the South Pacific between Hawaii and Australia eat a diet almost exclusively of coconut, fish, starchy tubers and fruit.18 Between 54% and 62% of their calories come from coconut oil, which contains saturated fat, Knobbe points out.

Nevertheless, a study of Tokelau men between 40 and 69 years found that they had no heart attacks, no obesity and no diabetes.19 They were “fantastically healthy,” says Knobbe.

Whether we’re talking about animal studies or studies of non-Westernized people, at least 80% of obesity and chronic diseases in Westernized countries come from processed foods, Knobbe concludes. “It is driven by vegetable oils and trans-fats … fast food restaurants almost all cook in soybean oil and canola oil.”

Other Experts Agree With Knobbe

In a previous newsletter with the Saldino podcast mentioned above, I discussed how Saladino and journalist Nina Teicholz decry the popularity and ubiquity of PUFAs in the modern food system and believe in the healthful benefits of saturated fat.

In the podcast, Saladino and Teicholz review the history of the demonization of saturated fat and cholesterol, which began, they say, with the flawed hypothesis in 1960 to 1961 that saturated fat causes heart disease.

The hypothesis was buttressed by the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans, introduced in 1980, which told people to limit their saturated fat and cholesterol, all the while exonerating carbs, which were increasingly made with PUFAs. It should be no surprise that the hypothesis and dietary guidelines were linked to a rapid rise in obesity and chronic diseases such as heart disease.

In the podcast, Saladino and Teicholz discuss the reasons why this myth has been allowed to persist, despite the scientific evidence against it.

If saturated animal fats were acknowledged to be healthy and processed industrial vegetable oils and grains were exposed as unhealthy, it would decimate the major processed food and fast food industries, which rely on vegetable oils and grains. Moreover, statin sales and other Big Pharma profit areas would suffer. Big Food and Big Pharma have financial motives for keeping the health benefits of real food hidden.

Like Knobbe, the experts are convinced that the massive increase in linoleic acid consumption because of its ubiquity in industrial vegetable oils and processed foods is a key metabolic driver of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other chronic disease.

They stress that the belief that high low-density lipoproteins (LDL) — the so-called “bad” cholesterol — are a risk factor for heart disease and that by lowering your LDL you lower your risk of a heart attack, is incorrect. The science simply doesn’t bear this out, they say. The reason for this is because not all LDL particles are the same.

Cutting down on red meat and saturated fat and eating more vegetable oil may cause LDL to go down, Saladino explains, but those LDLs will not be oxidized. It is the effect of LDL oxidation that triggers insulin resistance and related problems, including heart disease — something the LDL tests don’t detect.

Eating saturated fat, on the other hand, may raise your LDL, but those LDL particles will be large and fluffy and do not cause arterial damage, says Saladino.

The take-home message from both doctors Knobbe and Saladino is that seed oils are responsible for the vast majority of modern diseases and the best thing you can do for your health is renounce them.

– Sources and References

Honey for the Heart: Cardiovascular Benefits for Postmenopausal Women

© 16th June 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
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Posted on: Tuesday, June 16th 2020 at 4:15 pm

Written By: GreenMedInfo Research Group

This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020

Honey has long been celebrated for its beneficial effects on cardiovascular symptoms. A study from 2018 takes the sweet benefit up a notch by looking at the 12-month effects of tualang honey and honey cocktail on cardiovascular risk factors of postmenopausal women

Since time immemorial, honey has had widespread use as food and medicine, found perfectly preserved in ancient Egyptian tombs and in cave art some 8,000 years back.[i] Its lineup of active biological constituents includes polyphenols, which are nutritionally dense phytochemicals that boast of antioxidant properties.[ii]

Honey is no stranger to providing heart-friendly benefits, consistently appearing in studies to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It aids the body in its healthy processing of fats by decreasing the total amount of cholesterol and fats present in the bloodstream.[iii]

This benefit takes on special importance when it comes to menopause, as cardiovascular disease emerges as one of the long-term complications at this stage of life with the highest morbidity and mortality rates.[iv]

While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is widely prescribed to manage menopausal symptoms, concerns over its safety and side effects have got many postmenopausal women turning to alternative solutions,[v] such as the use of honey and beehive-based therapies.[vi]

In 2018, researchers investigated the long-term effects of honey — specifically tualang honey and honey cocktail made up of honey, bee bread and royal jelly — on cardiovascular markers in postmenopausal women.

Tualang Honey Lowers Blood Pressure, Fasting Blood Sugar

The group conducted a randomized, double blinded, two-armed parallel study that compared 20 grams (g) per day of tualang honey with 20 g per day honey cocktail in postmenopausal subjects ages 45 to 65.[vii] They then assessed heart health indicators at the beginning of the study as well as six and 12 months into the intervention.

If you haven’t heard about tualang honey before, it is a Malaysian multifloral jungle honey that has become popular in medical databases in recent years for its potential health benefits.[viii] The honey is created by the rock bee, building hives on branches of tall tualang trees in Peninsular Malaysia’s northwestern region.

Tualang honey has been linked to anti-influenza, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, antitumor and antidiabetic properties, on top of its wound-healing action.[ix]

The study recruited 100 participants and randomized them into groups. The results reflected a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure, from 77.92 mmHg at the beginning to 73.45 mmHg at 12 months in the tualang honey group versus the honey cocktail group. The researchers also saw a dramatic decrease in fasting blood sugar, dropping from 6.11 mmol/L at baseline to 5.71 mmol/L at the 12month mark in the same group compared to the other.

The study concluded that tualang honey therapy yielded super effects in lowering diastolic blood pressure as well as fasting blood sugar compared to honey cocktail. The latter, however, showed remarkable effects on body mass index (BMI).

“Twelve months of TH [tualang honey] and HC [honey cocktail] supplementation in postmenopausal women helped reduce some of the cardiovascular risk factors … The underlying mechanisms of TH and HC on the observed parameters are not fully understood and they need to be further investigated,” the researchers wrote.[x]

Nature’s Gift Against Cardiovascular Disease

An increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increases the risk of heart disease, also highly correlates with late-stage postmenopause.[xi] In one study, for instance, the participants had menopause for at least eight years, considered the late stage of postmenopause.[xii]

The subjects’ baseline characteristics also showed that at the mean age of 58, all of them were overweight, while over half had hypercholesterolemia and high blood pressure.

High blood pressure itself is a crucial risk factor for heart disease, with a prevalence that increases for postmenopausal women.[xiii] According to data, women have the highest high blood pressure risk five to nine years after they go into menopause.[xiv]

In previous studies, natural honey demonstrated an ability to modulate some of the risk factors present in cardiovascular disease,[xv] which is the leading cause of death in the U.S., causing one death every 37 seconds.[xvi] Honey also has protective effects against metabolic syndrome.[xvii]

Learn more from the more than 200 abstracts on GreenMedInfo.com that extol the different health benefits of consuming honey. Over 1,700 abstracts on GreenMedInfo.com also discuss cardiovascular diseases.


References

[i] Heathmont Honey, Bees, Honey history, https://www.heathmonthoney.com.au/bees/HoneyHistory.htm

[ii] Hossen MS et al “Beneficial roles of honey polyphenols against some human degenerative diseases: A review” Pharmacol Rep. 2017 Dec;69(6):1194-1205. Epub 2017 Jul 4.

[iii] Rasad H et al “The effect of honey consumption compared with sucrose on lipid profile in young healthy subjects (randomized clinical trial” Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Aug;26:8-12. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.04.016.

[iv] AHEM Maas et al “Women’s health in menopause with a focus on hypertension” Neth Heart J. 2009 Feb;17(2):68-72.

[v] Amato P et al “Estrogenic activity of herbs commonly used as remedies for menopausal symptoms” Menopause. 2002 Mar; 9(2):145-150.

[vi] Elia D et al “Assessment of the tolerance and effectiveness of a food supplement Serelys (Femal) for menopausal women” Genesis. 2008 Nov;135:12-15.

[vii] AB Wahab SZ et al “Long-term effects of honey on cardiovascular parameters and anthropometric measurements of postmenopausal women” Complement Ther Med. 2018 Dec;41:154-160. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.08.015. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

[viii] Sarfarz Ahmed et al “Review of the Medicinal Effects of Tualang Honey and a Comparison with Manuka Honey” Malays J Med Sci. 2013 May; 20(3): 6-13.

[ix] Sarfarz Ahmed et al “Review of the Medicinal Effects of Tualang Honey and a Comparison with Manuka Honey” Malays J Med Sci. 2013 May; 20(3): 6-13.

[x] AB Wahab SZ et al “Long-term effects of honey on cardiovascular parameters and anthropometric measurements of postmenopausal women” Complement Ther Med. 2018 Dec;41:154-160. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.08.015. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

[xi] Marchi R et al “Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in pre and postmenopausal women” Arch Endrocrinol Metab. 2017 Mar-Apr;61(2):160-166. doi: 10.1590/2359-3997000000253. Epub 2017 Feb 16.

[xii] Harlow SD et al “Executive summary of the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop + 10: addressing the unfinished agenda of staging reproductive aging” Menopause. 2012 Apr;19(4):387-95. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31824d8f40.

[xiii] Lima R et al “Hypertension in Postmenopausal Women” Curr Hypertens Rep. 2012 Jun; 14(3): 254-260. doi: 10.1007/s11906-012-0260-0

[xiv] Cho GJ et al “Postmenopausal status according to years since menopause as an independent risk factor for the metabolic syndrome” Menopause. 2008 May-Jun;15(3):524-9. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181559860.

[xv] Rasad H et al “The effect of honey consumption compared with sucrose on lipid profile in young healthy subjects (randomized clinical trial” Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Aug;26:8-12. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.04.016.

[xvi] CDC, Heart disease, Facts https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

[xvii] Nutrients. 2018 Aug 2;10(8):1009. doi: 10.3390/nu10081009. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30072671/

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Want to Defeat Coronavirus? Address Diabetes and Hypertension


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/04/13/how-to-defeat-coronavirus.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
April 13, 2020
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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • In Italy, more than 99% of fatalities from COVID-19 occurred among people who had underlying medical conditions
  • The finding came from an examination of 18% of Italy’s COVID-19 deaths, which revealed that only three people who died — or 0.8% — had no underlying conditions
  • Among Italy’s COVID-19 fatalities, 76.1% had high blood pressure, 35.5% had diabetes and 33% had heart disease
  • Underlying health conditions like heart disease and diabetes are linked to “poorer clinical outcomes,” such as admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), a need for invasive ventilation or death, among COVID-19 patients
  • To beat COVID-19, one of the best strategies is to get your underlying chronic conditions under control; even diabetes and high blood pressure can often be reversed via healthy diet and lifestyle

While the World Health Organization has put the death rate from novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at 3.4%,1 a study in Nature Medicine put it much lower, at 1.4%.2 The fact is, with many cases going unreported and untested, mild and asymptomatic cases may not be included in official COVID-19 death rate figures, which could skew the death rate significantly, making it appear higher than it actually is.

In Italy, however — the “new” epicenter for COVID-19 — the number of deaths reportedly overtook those in China by mid- to late March 2020.3

As the home to the world’s second-oldest population after Japan, Italy’s elderly population is at increased risk of death from COVID-19, but there’s another factor that also makes you more susceptible to death or serious illness if you contract COVID-19: an underlying health condition, particularly diabetes or high blood pressure.

This is why, if you want to stay healthy in this pandemic, one of the best strategies is to get your underlying chronic conditions under control; even diabetes and high blood pressure can often be reversed via healthy diet and lifestyle.

99% of COVID-19 Deaths in Italy Had Underlying Conditions

According to a study by The Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy’s national health authority,4 more than 99% of fatalities from COVID-19 occurred among people who had underlying medical conditions.

The finding came from an examination of 18% of Italy’s COVID-19 deaths, which revealed that only three people who died — or 0.8% — had no underlying conditions. On the contrary, nearly half the victims had three underlying conditions while one-fourth had one or two.5

Further, among the fatalities, 76.1% had high blood pressure, 35.5% had diabetes and 33% had heart disease.6 While the median age of those infected was 63, most deaths occurred in older people, with 79.5 being the average age of those who’ve died. Among those who were under 40 when they died, all had serious underlying health conditions.7

A report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, released in February 2020, similarly found a higher crude fatality ratio (CFR) among people with additional health conditions. While those who were otherwise healthy had a CFR of 1.4%, those with comorbid conditions had much higher rates, as follows:8

  • Cardiovascular disease — 13.2%
  • Diabetes — 9.2%
  • High blood pressure — 8.4%
  • Chronic respiratory disease — 8%
  • Cancer — 7.6%

Underlying Conditions, Obesity Increase Risk of Poor Outcomes

Another study looking into the impact of co-existing health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes on COVID-19 outcomes found they’re linked to “poorer clinical outcomes,” such as admission to an intensive care unit, a need for invasive ventilation or death.9

The study involved 1,590 laboratory-confirmed hospitalized patients, revealing that people with a chronic condition were 1.8 times more likely to have a poor outcome compared to those with none. This jumped to 2.6 times more likely for those with two chronic conditions.10

The first review of fatal COVID-19 cases in China also found diabetes may be associated with mortality,11 as did a report of 72,314 cases by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.12

While the researchers found a mortality rate of 2.3% in the overall population, this rose to 10.5% among people with cardiovascular disease and 7.3% among those with diabetes.13 Likewise, in a Lancet study of 191 patients in China, 48% of those who died from COVID-19 had high blood pressure.14,15

Likewise, the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre released a report on 196 patients critically ill with COVID-19.16 Among them, 56 patients had a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30, which is classified as overweight, 58 had a BMI of 30 to 40, which indicates obesity, and 13 had a BMI of 40 or higher which is classified as severely obese. Overall, 71.7% of the critical patients were overweight, obese or severely obese.17

This could have serious implications for the U.S., where approximately 45%, or 133 million, people suffer from at least one chronic disease.18 Among them, more than 1 in 10 have diabetes (and another 1 in 3 has prediabetes),19 while 108 million adults have high blood pressure.20 Further, 71.6% of U.S. adults aged 20 and over are overweight or obese.21

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Are ACE Inhibitors Part of the Problem?

In another intriguing finding, researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland noted that in three studies of patients with COVID-19, the most frequent underlying conditions — heart disease, diabetes and hypertension — are those often treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.22 Writing in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, they explained:

“Human pathogenic coronaviruses (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus [SARS-CoV] and SARS-CoV-2) bind to their target cells through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is expressed by epithelial cells of the lung, intestine, kidney, and blood vessels.

The expression of ACE2 is substantially increased in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, who are treated with ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II type-I receptor blockers (ARBs). Hypertension is also treated with ACE inhibitors and ARBs, which results in an upregulation of ACE2.”23

In short, the ACE2 enzyme is beneficial in that it promotes tissue regeneration, and ACE inhibitors and ARBs (as well as ibuprofen) increase the formation of ACE 2. The problem is that coronavirus binds to ACE2 and uses it to enter cells, where it then multiplies. “For that reason,” study author Michael Roth said in a news release, “we suggest further research into the use of these drugs in COVID-19 patients.”24

Targeting Insulin Resistance Is Key

The likely common denominator for these diseases is our old nemesis, insulin resistance, in response to a high-carbohydrate and processed food diet. Insulin resistance not only contributes to these diseases but also impairs immune function. So, if your fasting blood sugar is over 100 it would be highly prudent to make diligent efforts to get that under control.

As your insulin and leptin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure to increase. Eventually, you may become insulin and/or leptin resistant. Likewise, Type 2 diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance resulting in high blood sugar.

When your body is insulin resistant,25 the cells in your body do not respond well to insulin, which lowers their ability to use glucose from the blood for energy. The pancreas secretes more insulin, trying to overcome the cells’ weak response in their attempt to keep blood glucose levels in a healthy range.

As noted by Dr. Sandra Weber, president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, in The New York Times, “We know that if you do not have good glucose control, you’re at high risk for infection, including viruses and presumably this one [COVID-19] as well … [improving glucose control] would put you in a situation where you would have better immune function.”26

What and When to Eat to Beat Insulin Resistance

With regard to insulin resistance, research shows intermittent fasting promotes insulin sensitivity and improves blood sugar management by increasing insulin-mediated glucose uptake rates.27 This is important not only for resolving Type 2 diabetes but also high blood pressure and obesity.

Time restricted eating, i.e., the restriction of eating only during a six- to eight-hour window, mimics the eating habits of our ancestors and restores your body to a more natural state that allows a whole host of metabolic benefits to occur.28 While there are a number of different intermittent fasting protocols, my preference is fasting daily for 18 hours and eating all meals within a six-hour window.

If you’re new to the concept of time-restricted eating, consider starting by skipping breakfast and having your lunch and dinner within a six-hour timeframe, say 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., making sure you stop eating three hours before going to bed. It’s a powerful tool that can work even in lieu of making other dietary changes.

In one study, when 15 men at risk of Type 2 diabetes restricted their eating to a nine-hour window, they lowered their mean fasting glucose, regardless of when the “eating window” commenced.29

What you eat is also important. I recommend adopting a cyclical ketogenic diet, which involves radically limiting carbs (replacing them with healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein) until you’re close to or at your ideal weight, ultimately allowing your body to burn fat — not carbohydrates — as its primary fuel.

Key Steps to Getting — and Staying — Healthy

While many people — young and old alike — are facing Type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, these conditions can be turned around, and in so doing you’ll significantly reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.

Along with intermittent fasting and a cyclical ketogenic diet, the tips that follow will help you prevent and reverse obesity, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, while helping you boost your immune system to avoid both chronic diseases and illness from infectious agents alike:

Limit added sugars to a maximum of 25 grams per day. If you’re insulin resistant or diabetic, reduce your total sugar intake to 15 grams per day until your insulin/leptin resistance has resolved (then it can be increased to 25 grams) and start intermittent fasting as soon as possible.
Limit net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber) and protein and replace them with higher amounts of high-quality healthy fats such as seeds, nuts, raw grass fed butter, olives, avocado, coconut oil, organic pastured eggs and animal fats, including animal-based omega-3s.
Avoid all processed foods, including processed meats. For a list of foods that are particularly beneficial for diabetics, please see “Nine Superfoods for Diabetics.”
Get regular exercise each week and increase physical movement throughout waking hours, with the goal of sitting down less than three hours a day.

Healthy middle-aged adults were able to improve their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation after just two weeks of interval training (three sessions per week),30 while among people with Type 2 diabetes, just one interval training session was able to improve blood sugar regulation for the next 24 hours.31

Your body’s ability to respond to insulin is also affected by just one day of excess sitting, which leads your pancreas to produce increased amounts of insulin. Research published in Diabetologia also found that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least,32 so make sure to keep moving.

Get sufficient sleep — Most need right around eight hours of sleep per night. Research has shown sleep deprivation can have a significant bearing on your insulin sensitivity33 and immune function.
Optimize your vitamin D level, ideally through sensible sun exposure. If using oral vitamin D3 supplementation, be sure to increase your intake of magnesium and vitamin K2 as well, as these nutrients work in tandem, and monitor your vitamin D level.
Optimize your gut health by regularly eating fermented foods and/or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Stress management should be a regular part of your immune-support and hypertension-reduction plan, as hypertension often has an emotional component to it, especially if you’re chronically stressed or anxious. Using the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is one excellent suggestion.
– Sources and References

Improve cholesterol levels and blood vessel function by eating the right amount of blueberries

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/blueberries-metabolic-syndrome-3322.html

by:  

blueberries(NaturalHealth365) Metabolic syndrome makes the “who’s who list” of bad health conditions, yet most people remain uneducated about its details.  This “syndrome” significantly increases your risk of potentially serious chronic health problems like cardiovascular disease, including a heart attack or stroke.

Fortunately, as is usually the case with good nutrition, it turns out that reducing the impact of metabolic syndrome is just one of the many benefits of eating the right amount of blueberries, on a regular basis.

For example, a 2019 study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition offers great incentive to eat more of this delicious fruit if you or anyone you know wants to improve heart health or is living with metabolic syndrome risk factors, including a large waist circumference, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.

Can you really defeat metabolic syndrome by eating more blueberries?

Researchers of the study split 115 overweight and obese adults with metabolic syndrome (mostly older males) into one of three groups: Group 1 ate 1 cup (150 g) of blueberries per day, Group 2 ate 1/2 a cup (75 g) of blueberries per day, and group three had a placebo. There was an impressive 94.1% compliance with the food intake over the course of 6 months.

The “dietarily achievable” servings of blueberries actually came in a freeze-dried and powdered form, but the authors were so hopeful about their findings they still advised “blueberries should be included in dietary strategies to reduce individual and population [cardiovascular disease] risk.”

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Here’s why…
While just half a cup per day didn’t correlate with any beneficial biomarker improvements, the researchers found that eating 1 cup of blueberries per day yielded significant improvements in cholesterol levels, blood vessel function, and underlying nitric oxide activity – which helps blood vessels relax and plays a big role in regulating blood pressure.

All of these correlated with improvements in underlying metabolic syndrome and a predicted 12 to 15 reduction in cardiovascular risk.

This is consistent with other research pointing to beneficial health effects correlated with blueberries, including improved heart and brain health and better blood sugar control (although in this study, the insulin resistance for these participants remained unchanged – maybe not surprising, since the authors didn’t impose many limits on the participants’ diets overall, but only prior to baseline, interim, and 6-month assessments).

Wow!  Discover the impressive nutrient profile of just one serving of this delicious fruit

1 cup of blueberries (about 148 grams) boasts 3.6 grams of fiber and tons of other nutrients like vitamin K1 (28 mcg per cup), vitamin C (14.1 mcg per cup), manganese, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin B6.

Blueberries are also a potent source of flavanoids – plant nutrients with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers believe flavanoids are one of the major heart healthy benefits of blueberries.

Blueberries are especially rich in a type of flavanoid called anthocyanin, which give blueberries its dark purplish blue color.  Just 1 cup of blueberries contains an impressive 400 mg of flavonoids.  Of course, always choose organic varieties to avoid the consumption of unwanted chemicals.

So, sprinkle some on salads, yogurt, or oatmeal, eat by the handful, or pair with nuts and dark chocolate. The choices are endless! If you can, opt for wild and/or locally sourced blueberries whenever possible, as these have a higher flavanoids profile than conventionally grown versions.

Sources for this article include:

Healthline.com
NYTimes.com
Academic.oup.com
NIH.gov
Livescience.com
NIH.gov

New Study Sheds Light on Stroke Recovery


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/03/05/stroke-recovery.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     
March 05, 2020

Honey Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

© 30th January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/honey-reduces-risk-heart-disease

Got a sweet tooth that you just can’t squash? Relax! Nature has provided a healthy way to satisfy your sugar cravings. Put down the toxic white stuff and pick up a jar of pure, raw honey. Your heart will thank you for it

In a cooperative effort between researchers at the medical sciences departments of Iran’s Isfahan University and Mashhad University, honey has been shown to aid the body in healthy processing of fats by decreasing the overall amount of cholesterol and fats in the bloodstream.[i] The study was published in August 2018 in the journal of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN), Clinical Nutrition ESPEN.

Researchers were inspired by previous studies that demonstrated honey’s beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease symptoms. Their chief aim was to investigate whether the effect of honey consumption on overall lipids in the blood was markedly different than the effects of sucrose, or table sugar, on the blood lipid profiles of 60 young, healthy male subjects.

Good Fats Are Key to Heart Health

A lipid profile, also called a coronary risk panel, is a blood test that measures total blood triglycerides including high-density lipoproteins (HDL), often referred to as “good cholesterol,” and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), commonly known as “bad cholesterol.” In truth, there is only one “type” of cholesterol, a molecule that is incapable of dissolving in blood. In order to transport cholesterol to the various cells throughout the body, lipoproteins such as LDLs and HDLs act as cholesterol carriers.

LDLs may have earned their bad reputation due to the fact that, once they have deposited their cholesterol load, they become small enough to burrow into the linings of arteries where they can oxidize, resulting in damaging inflammation. Conversely, one of HDLs functions is to carry anti-oxidative enzymes to cells where they may help neutralize potential harm done by depleted LDLs’ oxidation.

The blood lipid profile is a primary screening tool for assessing an individual’s risk of developing coronary heart disease. The word “lipids” refers to fats and fat-like substances that are key regulators of cellular activity, such as the energetic functions of your body.[ii]

The effectiveness of this cellular transport system is dependent on having the right amount of healthy fats in your bloodstream. If an imbalance occurs, excess cholesterol may get deposited into the walls of blood vessels, eventually leading to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, that can cause heart attack and stroke due to blocked blood flow to the heart and brain.[iii]

In the focus study, 60 male subjects between the ages of 18 and 30 were randomly recruited and assigned into one of two groups: honey (experimental) and sucrose (control). Participants were included in the study if they were healthy, non-athletic and a non-smoker. Participants were excluded if they already consumed a large amount of honey in their daily life, took any sort of medication or had recently undergone major diet and lifestyle changes.

Body mass index (BMI) was measured and participants’ physical activity was self-reported via the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), a survey that assesses walking time, moderate and vigorous physical activities and time spent sitting throughout a typical week.

The experimental group received 70 grams of natural honey per day, while the control group received 70 grams of sucrose per day for a period of six weeks. Fasting lipid profile, including total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL and triacylglycerol, was determined for each subject at the beginning of the trial (baseline) via a 5-milliliter blood sample, which was collected in the morning after a 12-hour fasting period.

The lab tests were repeated after the six-week intervention period was complete. All 60 participants successfully completed the trial, and in the final analysis confounding variables including age, physical activity and some nutrient intake were adjusted.

Honey Improves Cholesterol While Table Sugar Is Toxic

Participants’ baseline measurements for fasting blood sugar, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were not different between the honey and sucrose groups, indicating that there were no significant pre-existing differences between the groups at the beginning of the study. After the final blood lipid profiles were produced, researchers compiled the following findings:

  • Consumption of honey decreased total cholesterol and LDL and increased the presence of HDL in the blood.
  • Consumption of sucrose had the inverse effect, increasing total cholesterol and significantly raising LDL levels, while decreasing HDL in the blood.

In summary, total cholesterol significantly decreased in the honey group compared with the beginning of the trial, while total cholesterol increased in sucrose group. LDL cholesterol was decreased by honey consumption and increased by sugar intake. Honey also increased HDL cholesterol in the blood, while sucrose decreased the presence of this healthy fat.

The main finding of this study, noted researchers, was “the ability of natural honey to modulate some of the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.” According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. with one person dying from cardiovascular disease every 37 seconds.[iv] Researchers called for further clinical trials to confirm their promising results.

Honey: Nature’s Oldest Health Food

Honey has an unprecedented history of use as a food and medicament, stemming back as far as recorded history. It has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, still perfectly preserved, and in cave art dating back some 8,000 years.[v] Honey contains many active biological constituents including polyphenols, nutritionally dense phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties.[vi]

Many studies have confirmed that polyphenols provide a protective effect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arterial diseases and more.[vii] There are over 200 abstracts on GreenMedInfo.com extolling the numerous health benefits of consuming pure, raw honeyBecome a member today to access our in-depth research tools and learn more about how honey is one of nature’s most miraculous foods.


References

[i] The effect of honey consumption compared with sucrose on lipid profile in young healthy subjects (randomized clinical trial). Rasad H, Entezari MH, Ghadiri E, Mahaki B, Pahlavani N. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Aug;26:8-12. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.04.016. PMID: 29908688

[ii] American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Lab Tests Online.org, Tests, Lipid panel https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lipid-panel

[iii] American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Lab Tests Online.org, Tests, Lipid panel https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lipid-panel

[iv] CDC, Heart disease, Facts https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

[v] Heathmont Honey, Bees, Honey history, https://www.heathmonthoney.com.au/bees/HoneyHistory.htm

[vi] Beneficial roles of honey polyphenols against some human degenerative diseases: A review.  Md Sakib Hossen, Pharmacol Rep. 2017 Dec;69(6):1194-1205. Epub 2017 Jul 4. PMID: 29128800

[vii] Beneficial roles of honey polyphenols against some human degenerative diseases: A review.  Md Sakib Hossen, Pharmacol Rep. 2017 Dec;69(6):1194-1205. Epub 2017 Jul 4. PMID: 29128800

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Breaking NEWS: Vaccine-like injection touted as better than statins for “preventing” heart disease

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/heart-disease-injection-3276.html
by:  | 2nd February 2020

heart-disease-shot(NaturalHealth365) We’ve reported on the dangers of statins many times on NaturalHealth365.  From mood dysfunction to memory loss, the world’s top-selling drug – prescribed to lower blood cholesterol in the hopes of managing or preventing heart disease – comes with many questionable side effects. Now, doctors in the United Kingdom are rushing to test a new cholesterol-lowering drug – only this one is a pricey injection.The new “heart jab” is supposed to work like a vaccine. It contains a drug called inclisiran, and the National Health Service (NHS) of Britain seems extremely hopeful about its potential impact on patients’ heart health. But is it safe long-term?

So-called “wonder jab” alleged to slash cholesterol levels is expensive and lacks support from long-term data

Inclisiran is from a class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors. PCSK9 inhibitors – including alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha) – are very new to the British health market. They allegedly work by blocking the action of an enzyme called PCSK9; by inhibiting this enzyme, the liver can remove “lousy” LDL cholesterol from the blood more quickly.

Unlike alirocumab and evolocumab, however – which require a once or bi-monthly injection – inclisiran reportedly only needs to be injected once or twice per year. The drug works by turning off genes which normally make the PCSK9 enzyme. Reported side effects include back pain, aching muscles, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue.

Prior research on the drug revealed that inclisiran can decrease cholesterol by as much as 50 percent. Now, researchers, drug manufacturers, and the NHS seem so excited about this “wonder jab” that the NHS gave the green light for a new trial in Britain involving 40,000 middle-aged men and women who are taking statins and still have high cholesterol.

The very hopeful researchers claim that rolling out this drug onto the market could prevent as many as 55,000 heart attacks and strokes in the coming decade. Unfortunately, there are several valid points of contention with this new drug, and with the new trial that’s been shuttled so quickly down the pipeline:

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  • No one knows whether inclisiran and the other PCSK9 inhibitors are safe long-term.
  • Inclisiran is about 100 times as expensive as statin drugs.
  • The PCSK9 enzyme is involved in multiple bodily processes – and nobody yet knows what kind of widespread consequences there will be, if any, of shutting the enzyme down.
  • Inclisiran does appear to reduce cholesterol levels – but there’s no proof it reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • It’s not entirely clear that improving your cholesterol levels is the key to improving heart health anyway! Several recent papers provide evidence which challenges the long-held belief that high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. In fact, the true culprit appears to be chronic inflammation – which is something that inclisiran doesn’t influence.

Prevent heart disease and improve your heart health with these 5 nutrients

Does the world really need another expensive drug, anyway? If you’re of the millions of people around the world diagnosed with or at risk for heart disease, then be sure you’re getting these five nutrients into your diet regularly:

As we’ve previously reported, these and other nutrients work synergistically to optimize heart health. Studies show that these nutrients (from both food and supplements) decrease many risk factors associated with heart disease, including systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, heart failure, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure.

So before asking your doctor about the latest and “greatest” drugs, try evaluating your plate, first – a move that many health experts are urging the public to do.

Sources for this article include:

Yahoo.com
CDC.gov
Dailymail.co.uk
AJMC.com
BMJ.com
NaturalHealth365.com
NIH.gov

Protect your heart health with quercetin

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/heart-health-blood-pressure-3300.html

heart-health(NaturalHealth365) Flavonoids – compounds found in certain fruits and vegetables – are known for their ability to protect us from toxins, environmental radiation and (ultimately) the oxidative damage that causes disease.  Over the past decade, one flavonoid in particular has been studied for its immune-boosting, heart health and anti-aging benefits, with multiple studies showing quercetin’s ability to increase life span.Recently, a new meta-analysis dug into the incredible heart benefits of quercetin, finding that supplementation was effective at lowering blood pressure.  But, beyond that, it also offers a number of other health benefits that lower the risk of heart disease, such as reducing excessive amounts of cholesterol and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.

Why quercetin is crucial to heart health

Evidence continues to accumulate showing that eating more foods that contain quercetin or adding a quality supplement to your diet can offer a wide range of health benefits.

In a meta-analysis published in Nutrition Reviews, researchers concluded that quercetin is effective at lowering blood pressure. After pooling results, they found that taking quercetin was associated with an average 2.86 mmHG reduction in patients’ diastolic blood pressure and a 3.09 mmHG reduction in their systolic blood pressure. Not only did it help reduce blood pressure across pooled results, it did so without causing unwanted side effects, as well.

In addition, other studies have backed up this recent conclusion.  While some studies found that taking high amounts of quercetin helped reduce blood pressure, others discovered that even taking lower levels of its supplemental form could result in improved blood pressure numbers.

Researchers believe that it works by reducing the “stickiness” of platelets and helping artery linings stay healthy, keeping them relaxed to reduce pressure and improve overall blood flow.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

More great news about the health benefits of quercetin

One study showed that in men between the ages of 65 and 84, those who had the highest intake of flavonoids like quercetin were 68% less likely to die from heart disease than those who had the lowest intake. Similar studies have backed up the idea that quercetin offers dramatic cardiovascular protection.

One study on quercetin’s impact on cholesterol found that taking 100 mg of the supplement daily significantly improved cholesterol levels, and it also improved blood sugar – which is another risk factor for heart disease. A larger study found that quercetin not only reduce “bad” cholesterol, it increased the levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol.

To reap the heart health benefits of quercetin, you can add more foods to your diet that contain this flavonoid or take a supplement. Foods that contain quercetin include deeply colored vegetables, dark leafy greens, legumes, cocoa, green tea, olive oil, deeply colored berries, and beans.

However, if you’re considering a quercetin supplement and you’re already on blood thinners, it’s essential to discuss this with your integrative physician.

Sources for this article include:

LifeExtension.com
LifeExtension.com
NaturalHealth365.com