Tag Archives: Atherosclerosis

Veg ‘Prevents Artery Hardening’

Eating vegetables may prevent hardening of the arteries, research suggests.

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Different coloured veg contain different minerals

.US researchers found 38% less build up of fatty deposits in the arteries of mice who were fed a mixture of vegetables, including carrots and peas.

Evidence on the effects of diet on atherosclerosis in humans is not clear but eating fruit and vegetables is known to protect against heart disease.

The study in the Journal of Nutrition said the average person only eats three portions of fruit and veg a day.

The researchers from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine assessed the effect of diet on heart disease by studying mice that had been specially bred to rapidly develop atherosclerosis – the formation of fatty plaques in the arteries which can eventually block blood flow leading to heart attacks and strokes.

“While everyone knows that eating more vegetables is supposed to be good for you, no-one had shown before that it can actually inhibit the development of atherosclerosis” Says Dr Michael Adams, lead researcher

Half the mice were fed a vegetable-free diet and half the mice were fed a diet which included broccoli, green beans, corn, peas and carrots.

After 16 weeks, researchers measured cholesterol content in the blood vessels and estimated that plaques in the arteries of the mice were 38% smaller.

Although there was also a reduction in total cholesterol and body weight in mice fed the vegetable-rich diet, analysis showed that this could not explain the reduction in atherosclerosis.

Lead researcher Dr Michael Adams said: “While everyone knows that eating more vegetables is supposed to be good for you, no-one had shown before that it can actually inhibit the development of atherosclerosis.”

Inflammation
He added that there was a 37% reduction in serum amyloid – a marker of inflammation in mice – suggesting that vegetable consumption may inhibit inflammatory activity

“Although the pathways involved remain uncertain, the results indicate that a diet rich in green and yellow vegetables inhibits the development of hardening of the arteries and may reduce the risk of heart disease,” he said.

“It is well known that atherosclerosis progression is intimately linked with inflammation in the arteries.”

Dr Adrian Brady, consultant cardiologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: “It’s an interesting study and it is encouraging. There is a public health message that dietary interventions are helpful.

“And now this animal model shows maybe there is long-term dietary involvement that could lead to less plaques.”

He added more work was needed to look at the development of plaques and confirm the protective effect of eating fruit and veg.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, spokesperson for the British Heart Foundation, said: “This study supports the recommendation of eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

“Different coloured fruit and vegetables contain different vitamins and minerals, so the more types of fruit and vegetables you can include in your diet the better.”

Sources:BBC NEWS:18th.June,’08

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Rising Early May be Bad for the Heart

 

Are you a habitual early riser? You might be at a higher risk of heart disease. Junking the age old mantra that professed waking up early as good for health, a study conducted by Japanese researchers has found that people who regularly wake up before 5 am faced an added risk of developing heart disease. They were found to be also at higher risk of developing high blood pressure/hypertension and stroke.

Announcing the finding at the recently concluded Congress of the World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Societies in Cairns, Australia, Japanese physician Mayuko Kadono said his subjects, who woke up before 5 am were 1.7 times more prone to suffering from high BP/hypertension. A two-time increase in the chance of developing hardening of the arteries was also noticed when those in the study woke up regularly at 5 am.

Kadono used 3,017 healthy adults between the ages of 23 and 90 years to study the relationship between time of getting up in the morning and the frequency of developing health problems.

“Rising early to go to work or exercise might not be beneficial to health, but rather a risk for vascular diseases,” said an abstract of the study.

Dr V Mohan Kumar, vice-president of the World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Societies, told TOI that an adult needs a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep everyday.

“People who go to sleep at 10 pm and wake up at 5 am or later should face no problems. Some people have a natural tendency to wake up early while others wake up late. If those who like to sleep a little more are forced to wake up at 5 am everyday, it naturally leads to stress in the heart causing complications,” Dr Kumar, a former HOD of the department of physiology at AIIMS, said.

Source:The Times Of India

Little chocolate a day keeps heart attacks at bay

They were so addicted, they just could not give up their favourite daily snackĀ  not even in the interest of science…..click & see

But chocolate lovers who flunked out of a Johns Hopkins University study on aspirin and heart disease helped researchers stumble on an explanation of why a little chocolate a day can cut the risk of heart attack.

It turns out chocolate, like aspirin, affects the platelets that cause blood to clot, Diane Becker of the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine and her colleagues discovered.

“What these chocolate offenders taught us is that the chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to aspirin in reducing platelet clumping, which can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack,”Becker said.

The 139 so-called chocolate offenders took part in a larger study of 1,200 people with a family history of heart disease.

The study looked at the effects of aspirin on blood platelets. Before they got the aspirin, the volunteers were asked to stay on a strict regimen of exercise, refrain from smoking and avoid caffeinated drinks, wine, grapefruit juice and chocolate.

Source:The Times Of India